Are Designers the Enemy Of Design?

Nussbaum recently gave a talk at my school, that caused quite the stir. He details how the dynamic and evolution of the design process has brought us to this new form of design, where everyone is a designer and that design by ego is destroying the potential and requisite of today's designs. (Pic: Philip Stark Juicer)

Nussbaum said that "designers suck" and are in need of a paradigm shift for sustainability. I have to agree, but disagree. As a student of Design Management, we are not IN NEED of a paradigm shift, at least I don't see that, but rather, we are undergoing a paradigm shift. To me, when I graduate in a year, I will work in a market where sustainability is presumed to take importance. Maybe bottom line business men will tell me otherwise, but more and more I am reading of how they, too, now realize the impetus in sustainability to grow that bottom line over time.

As we breed this new form of designer, we are making history, in fact, defining the management of the process. Design management is the facilitation of the design process in the interests of all of those at stake. This inculcates sustainability amongst other things, but it is not apparent (reference to apple's counter-sustainable products).

My thoughts? In response, NextD did a whole write up drawing from the brightest minds in design of today and yesterday. There is strong potential in society for sustainability and participatory design. This process and its importance in the administration of business is exemplified by the emergence of Design&Management departments at Parsons, Pratt, Stanford, and Harvard.

This nascent industry embodies the profit-potential held in participatory design while strongly entertaining sustainability as a priority before achieving anything with popular culture. I would know, I am a student who is on the receiving end of courses and lectures of design management training.

I am frankly excited by the emergence of this MANAGEMENT-DESIGN pedagogy, as it transfers power to those who know and appreciate from those who are ignorant... so designers don't suck, business sucks. Good thing though, because as I see it, business models for the day after tomorrow are being learned today, in dschools.

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