“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Is design being evolved out of existance?

This is a thought I posted to G+ (I like it for longer thoughts like this) but feel that after 24+ hours that its withstood the initial “did I shoot that off too fast?” feeling. Enjoy!

Ok, design is inherently a deconstructive/reductionist process. That means you have to create more, learn and then “reduce” &/or change.

Lean [whatever] is inherently constructionist. Build a “minimum”, learn & then add &/or change.

Given the current state of things, is design dead/dying/evolving to the point where it will soon not be recognizably connected to its roots in the arts and just become engineering the visual & behavioral?

My biggest concern from a less academic/theoretical perspective to a more practical perspective. Can minimums really validate anything useful? Given the importance of gestalt (holism) on human behavioral and social use patterns, what can we really learn from piece meal delivery mechanisms?


My second read is a concern that people will think I’m making an “us vs. them” debate. But that isn’t it at all. I’m new to design, but as a converted zealot, I believe in design and designing and while there are definitely true mappings between design and engineering, I do believe that design is different, if we maintain our close and dear connection to art and with it the humanities. Many of my friends and colleagues, whom I have the deepest respect for (and have learned so much from) believe that these “lean” and “agile” methods are good and necessary. My plea to them is at what cost? Are we loosing too much of what makes design really valuable?

Your thoughts here or at G+ would be appreciated.

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  • Stephen Zablotny Z Studio

    Design is a problem solving process, not a workflow. It is both creative and curatorial by nature. Defining a problem is the first step to solving it. Design solutions require both practial and artistic considerations to be truely successful. Design is a process not a product.


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