My Design Identity Crisis
Kyle Schruder

I have absolutely struggled with this. First off, I am a professional painter and independent scholar, not a designer, at least as far as my work-identity goes. However, I was professionally trained as a sound designer. Long story short, twenty years after my studies in Computer-assisted Sound Design, I am beginning to think of myself as a designer of sorts.

I’m still mostly just an artist philosopher, but my work is informed by design science. My workflow management system is founded on a design workflow management methodology.

As a sound designer, I can tell you that what is often missing is a kind of “total design” philosophy. If you are a visual designer or a designer of experiences, I have to ask, in 2016–2017, where is the designer of the audio brand of the service you are designing?

Sound design has had a back seat in the web design/app design/mobile experience design universe. Design has to solve ALL design problems inclusively, not just the visual side, etc. For instance, my phone has many apps installed, many of which have audio notifications associated with them. But the full potential of sound design for a mobile device such as this is so poorly understood by designers and so poorly underutilized that it is almost sickening to think of it (at least when your domain of expertise is sound design in a world that mostly doesn’t know it exists).

In conclusion, if designers work on concepts, then they are also philosophers. If they found their art on design fundamentals etc then they are scientists. In short, as an artist, I know the difference between art and design, and as an independent researcher-analyst, artist, and designer, I know the difference between all of the above and ENGINEERING. I believe a company needs ALL of those. And designers should be focusing on Total Design of Everything, not just the widget they happen to be finding local solutions for.

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