Designers by definition are problem solvers — the tie that unites disciplines, perspectives, processes, and the generational divide. But without narrative, our hypotheses would go untested, our prototypes would be misunderstood, and strategies would wander aimlessly, and our experiences would fall flat. Beyond solving problems, designers — regardless of medium, industry, or area of focus — are storytellers. If problem solving is our common thread of purpose, communication is how we shine a light on the path forward.
As an organization, AIGA Chicago has a spotty track record when it comes to presenting our own clear narrative. We haven’t been the best at peeling back the curtain to explain the intent behind processes, decisions, and initiatives. We haven’t been consistent when it comes to clearly articulating a point of view, presenting an argument, or elevating the perspectives of the community. And we’ve often overlooked opportunities to leverage tools and platforms — beyond our programming — that invite the community at large to have a seat at the table and actively participate in and frame the discussion.
It’s time to strip away the air of mystique. To invite all to have a seat at the table. To lower the barrier to entry, elevate community voices, and encourage dialog and debate. It’s time to tell the stories of our chapter. To bring voices, perspectives, opinions, and conversations from our community that may otherwise go unheard to a centralized forum with as broad a reach as possible.
In the spirit of transparency, inclusivity, and greater community dialog, I’m pleased to welcome all to AIGA Chicago’s new publishing home on Medium.
We’re not giving up our website or any of our social presence. But we are opening up new opportunities to engage in conversation, debate, support, and criticism. And we feel Medium as a platform is an ideal tool that blends visibility and access with robust tools design to foster conversation and debate.
This is one small part of a serious commitment we’re making to become more transparent, accessible, and inclusive as a chapter and an organization. Consider this our new digital town square — one where we invite everyone to take a turn on the soapbox. AIGA Chicago is for the community — the strength and evolution of which is dependent upon active, healthy, and — oftentimes critical — discourse. Everything we do should reflect the relevant conversations happening today, so I invite you all to join in and steer the conversation on your own terms.
In the coming months, this publication will be home to a diverse array of perspectives from board members, volunteers, and the broader design community. However if you have ideas for stories, features, perspectives, or any other type of content, I encourage you to contact myself, Kelly Knaga (Executive Director), or Bianca Smith (VP of Communications).
Let the conversations begin!