Design as philosophy and discipline enters the boardroom

The word ‘Design’ brings with it many opinions about what it is, and, what it means. For some design is simply graphical, for others, muscular, as in industrial, some like to think about the softness of service design or the complexity design of cultures inside organisations. Quite a spread.

What is interesting is this — design where once seen as a lowly skill, a one-off cost for a logo plus a few colours selected from the Pantone colour book then impastoed on everything that moves. Or, too artisan for the big boys of business, is set to have a significant influence on how business evolves over the coming years. Why?

Maybe business is realising something quite important.

What has emerged recently, in terms of a 20+ year time period, are the tools and the means to disrupt the status quo of every industry — at scale and speed. Fintech being the latest, and, perhaps the most significant, represents disruption at scale which started in the music industry and has I believe touched every company and every industry since. What cant you redesign with the blockchain? But its not just the tools, its the social desire for change that makes this moment in history so tantalising.

This is all currently happening, why then is design now recognised as so important? Because, for one simple reason, human beings are the interface with design — we as a species process then experience the world though our senses. Design allows us to create the optimal experience. Design allows us to think beyond boundaries, to become masters of materials and new materials, blending new technologies with new ideas of what is possible to create new things. If everything is up for grabs — it is the creative minds that get us there the quickest.

Focusing attention on how we experience the world and turning those into products and services means making money is not far behind. And even some of the recent tech companies valued in their billions were founded by designers. It is the creative mind that breaks the mold that sees the undiscovered potential in things and can then realise them.

Everything we make in this world follows the same process. We must think it, imagine it, dream it, then we find the means to make it. Everything is designed. And, if everything is designed, then we have the opportunity to make it beautiful, restorative, engaging, valuable and meaningful. Why would we do it any other way?

Based upon Do Design. Why beauty is key to everything. Published by the Do Book Co. 2016. Pre-order UK & US.

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