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Design is Not Problem Solving & Why this Matters

Posted by On Dec 11, 2018 In Ideas, Opinion Tags , , ,

Design is too often defined as problem solving. To consider it as such is disempowering for designers. It implies that design can only emerge from a problem, rather than the potential for design to emerge from an insight or opportunity and not in response to a problem. Design is undertaken with intent, with curiosity and by asking the right questions. Design may be undertaken in order to meet a particular specification or in response to a recognised opportunity.

Why does all this matter? Is it mere semantics, or is there something more to this?

The difference is whether the action of designing is reactive or proactive.

Not all design is proactive, but by reducing it to problem solving suggests that all design is reactive. It’s not, nor should it be. Design can be strategic. Design can recognise opportunities. Design is best focussed with an eye to the future, rather than on the past or present. Design does not have to be driven by external demands. Design is intentional at its best.

Design makes change.
Design fashions a better future.

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