Design is clearly not just a marketing thing, but a “genuine source of competitive advantage, customer and employee satisfaction, and a route to higher profits“. It is moving in a new direction leaving the era of design thinking.
Nowadays we have an increased demand for more transparency and active participation – in politics, the economy, actually everywhere – paired with an increased familiarity with the use of the technological tools that enables us to connect, share, collaborate, and communicate in new ways – and have our voices heard.
What we are seeing is a growing shift in the balance of power in what we value and how we demonstrate our power by investing in what we value.
With the current changes in the world, it is possible that we are entering a completely new paradigm of change in how we do things, in how we conduct business, and in how we live our lives. Whether in the face of systemic, organizational, or lifestyle changes, framing our decision-making processes around the idea of past, present, and future states of existence provides a new way to think about things. It also allows us to identify opportunities for design and explore how design could respond to these different dimensions.
Good design generates social and economic value, makes the world a better, more interesting place, and enhances the quality of our lives.
Increased debates around the role of design moved the position of design beyond questions of style and aesthetics to the design of the process, the design of the experience, design as a catalyst for innovation, and design as an enabler of cultural change.
Design as an approach can help identify a different, or better, way of doing things, of reconnecting everyday life back to what people really value and, ultimately, back to our own core human values. In this way, design is a people-centered transformational process, one that can move mindsets from a traditional, to a transitional, to a transformational way of seeing things.
The links among design, creativity, and innovation were framed in the Cox Review, which envisions securing the place of design in future debates on creativity and innovation:
- Creativity is the generation of new ideas – either a new way of looking at existing problems or the discovery of new opportunities.
- Innovation is the exploitation of new ideas.
- Design is what links creativity and innovation – it shapes the ideas so they become practical and attractive propositions for users and customers.
It is design’s ability to present attractive, practical, and aspirational propositions that can help change people’s decision-making processes, behaviours, and mindsets. The application of a “designerly” way of thinking and communicating could be very timely now in stimulating both new value propositions and more human-centered strategies for growth and development – all within our rapidly changing, increasingly sustainable, post-consumerist society.
Design helps us embrace change.