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Better by design

Christina Wodtke points out this article:

  • Better by design from the RSA e-journal (August 2005). RSA is The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.

Summary: Design used to be associated purely with aesthetics. Today it has been embraced by business leaders and is advocated for social policy development.

Nico Macdonald (see his business, his event reporting, his Design and society blog) wrote the article.

You should read it yourself, but I would like to pull out some key sections to entice you (in part because the article is not formatted for easy scanning).

  • "The [Designer of the Year 2005] award celebrates Cottam's skills in designing an innovative process rather than a product. Her talent lies in drawing together an inspiring team [and] her ability to challenge orthodoxies and persuade policy-makers to take risks." [emphasis mine]
  • This understanding [of design] has evolved to include basic problem-solving, form-giving, choice of materials and - particularly with respect to the web - usability.
  • Design is human-centred and humanistic...[promoting] inclusive design principles and user-focused research methods...
  • "Designers listen differently"...“Absolutely brilliant ideas come up from ordinary people”.
  • Design brings...prototyping, evaluation and iteration..."Getting it wrong is perfectly safe".
  • People who use these methods may not be called designers.
  • Design is no longer discipline- or media-based.
  • A future for designers as teachers.

Nico's background of the article includes several places where the online debate will ensue.