Is Design a Costly Luxury?

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in design | No Comments
Is Design a Costly Luxury?

I was interested in Nesta’s observations that designers are poor learners in their Design in Public and Social Innovation . I’d widen that statement to include clients due to the lack of understanding from both sides of the process.

There is some level of hubris floating around with some designers and with some clients – this can lead to rather defensive and restricted design thinking. As a designer, I’ve all too often experienced how clients have treated the design process as an ‘add on’ service to their own ideas, that they’re very proud of. The thing is, the creativity is often clunkily fitted  in  around the  ring fenced ideas of the client and therefore hinders any joint creative process.

Quite a few designers are guilty of trying to force a ‘one-size-fits-all package’ on to clients. But I think that’s purely through picking up bad habits from bad client experiences. It’s systematic, good designers are adaptable and receptive to the client – if you want something innovative, aim for something bespoke.

I’m a little nervous when I hear ‘Innovation’, ‘Design’, and ‘Creative thinking’ being mentioned so often – I worry that these. Only use ‘innovation’ and then other words when you really want to do something kick ass and innovative, and what to challenge the norm.

Clients need to take risks to be creative and innovative.  Designers need to take risks in trusting the client and take time to encourage the client. At the end of the day, both the client and designer should respect that they’ve both have expert knowledge in their fields.

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