We’re all designers now

If you have ever done anything, (I realise I’m casting the net quite wide here…), you have already experienced what it is to be a designer. How good a designer you are depends on the success of that action and it’s knock on effects. While reluctant to get dragged into the (endless) ‘what is good design’ debate, if your action solved a problem, reacted to a situation, or created something new, and did it with style, wit, generosity and creativity, then I think we’re somewhere towards an understanding of good design. The skills which enable us to do this are increasingly valuable in work and life, and can’t be taught from text books or management manuals. We are moving (we’re told) towards more flexible workplace’s with increasingly fluid flows of knowledge and information in and out of organisations. The question I’m really asking is will this mean a change in our understanding of ‘planning’ and ‘process’ – and how will the increasing importance placed on the creativity of the individual be balanced against the structural need of the ‘organisation’ to retain control? If we move from a task or project orintated workplace to a pro-active creative workplace, design skills will be essential for any worker who needs to work constructively and flexibly in a changing environment, not just the ‘creatives’.

In an organisation of designers, positive outcomes for the organisation cannot be achieved by direct command, they can only come about by making sure the designers are nurtured and encouraged to make their own design decisions responsibly, and to constantly think about ‘what is good design’?

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