So let’s talk about DESIGN FIRMS. What can really be considered a design firm? A company that visually and physically designs things, a company that conceptually designs things, a company that uses design methodologies and mind sets to solve problems, and we can go on and on and find more terminologies for the same things basically.
When you google “design firm definition” the first result is: “A design firm is an organization that designs any of a variety of things, in one or more of the design fields, such as graphic design, web design, architecture, engineering, interior design, or industrial design.”
Well, we all know by now that this is not precise and that design could essentially be anything. So instead of redefining the term or reframing it, why don’t we just stop using it?!
In the near future, if not already in the present, every company around the globe will have to use “design” in one way or another. Design as a mindset didn’t become the new norm yet, but I believe that it will be inevitable for companies to choose this path as problems are becoming more complex, solutions must become much simpler and customers are looking for more.
In a world where we start thinking about the importance of experiences, feelings and empathy, for us as Strategic Design and Management students it’s pretty obvious to use creative approaches, design methodologies or whatever one chooses to call it. The world around us is only half cooked for it, but large corporations as well as small businesses tend to find the creative path.
In order to succeed I guess it will be appropriate to say that one should think differently, be creative and take inspiration from different industries, as I believe the future holds a non-dichotomous space; industries won’t matter anymore. Why? Because companies find it very beneficial to collaborate with other companies in different industries, as we can already see in today’s business landscape. The reason is essentially that their customers are looking for added value that is beyond the offering and expertise one company can offer on its own.
Hybrid is an annoying word but the marketplace is going in the direction of hybrid industries. What allows it is thinking beyond what you “should” do and trying to reinvent the way we behave as consumers, with our interests and the things we care about in mind. I guess we can say it’s “design”, but why? I strongly believe that design firms wouldn’t call themselves “design firms” in the future and probably wouldn’t exist as well. So perhaps we should stop using this type of terminology and start focusing on what actually matters: doing things differently.
In today’s world you don’t have to be inventive in order to be innovative; everything is clearly about design anyways, but naming it is just too limiting in a world everything is possible, really.