There are so many design definition discussions going on right now and to be honest all the time. Let’s open up the focus a bit more. How about the definition of engineering, science, creative industry and all this stuff these days? Which kind of value do the old profession names have in times where designers or design consultancies are doing a great job in taking over a lot of the tasks and responsibilities in turn key projects for new product developments, tasks which I normally would clearly define as responsibilities of engineers in the old days? And if an engineer (german engineer I suppose) would read the first pages of Tim Brown’s very insightful book “Change by Design“ where he writes about GWR and Mr.Brunel, perhaps the engineer should ask himself where he had lost this great spirit and why did this spirit went over to the designers and so called design thinkers.
But aren’t we wasting time? All these profession skills claiming discussions will lead to nowhere in the future. Today it is a sort of branding and marketing of each profession’s value to argue service costs. But in time of high frequency, global project based cross-company networks are these words for professions as a code to declare a certain set of skills still valid or a help? Ask two people what they think about the unique skills of a designer and an engineer, ask them who is the creative one and you will find large deviation and no clear target group definition. Imagine letting these two people decide whom to put into a team to generate a consistent set of skills to achieve the project goals. One could say “Yes that’s the skill of a good project leader to include the right ones and to be up to date with actual profession meaning.” But still than what are profession labels for? And imagine that this project leader also needs to argue his decision of team selection in front of decision makers.
During a few discussion people already said that they don’t declare themselves this or that, they just call themselves innovator, which is not a great help either. And besides to our degrees, we spend a lot of time to condense our unique skills down into taglines, written on XING and Linked-In to let people know in seconds who we are. But still HR-people are looking for your degree not your skills.
We have a new bunch of meaning of different kind of work out their and we struggle with old words and try to inflate them. DesignThinking for example. Innovation Management perhaps too. What is the core DNA of a person and what is the core need of a certain position?
So how will an ideal scenario look like in the future lets say in the year 2030? In a world where we will fight hard for a transition into a low carbon society, with perhaps even more multi hyper threaded matrix team or project networks and structures (if we still call them networks, I don’t know).
Perhaps you can help me to sort things out. So what is their around at the moment in the world of developing something?
I was very happy to read the interview with Mateo Kries about his new book and his insights on design.
I had the chance to talk with him a few times and to see him in lively discussion about senseless design. So I really appreciate his opinions even if they are not statistically proven, which I don’t know.
Peter Drucker expressed an idea which I found quite shocking.
“Technology is not nature, but humanity. It is not about tools: it is about how people work. It is equally about how they live and how they think. There is a saying of Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer – with Charles Darwin – of the theory of evolution: ‘Man is the only animal capable of directed and purposeful evolution: he makes tools.’ But precisely because technology is an extension of human beings, basic technological change always both expresses our world view and, in turn, changes it. ‘Information’ itself is both analytical and conceptual. But information is the organizing principle of every biological process. Life, modern biology teaches, is embodied in a ‘genetic code’, that is, in programmed information. Indeed, the sole definition of that mysterious reality ‘life’ that does not invoke the supernatural is that it is matter organized by information. And biological process is not analytical.” – Peter Drucker , Essential Drucker
I like Mr. Drucker although he is always a bit to industrial, to cold but very strict with his words. And I do not have a fully agreeing or positive feeling when I have read something from him. But due to his words I was remembered that in times where we search new paradigm shifting sustainable strategies, that we lost two connections.
One is quite obvious and often said. The connection between us and nature.
But technology, all artificial stuff that is around us is made by one of us. But I do not have a feeling that it is a part of me, me as a part of human beings. It is the elongation of my man kind continuum which has reached out and covers the nature under itself to protect the weak part against wild life. But do I feel satisfied with so much around me which is me. I should be filled up with pride everyday I look around me. Man kind has extended so much. Their is much said about NBIC about the convergence of Nano, Bio, Info and Congno-Science to make us “better, stronger, fast…” like the six million dollar guy once said in the 80s. With all the bubble of man mad cars, roads, food in principle we are already far beyond that. Wow! That should make me feel much much more extended, spread out and interwoven into the world.
But I do not feel like that. Why? Why do I lost connection, identity to all that great stuff around me. Is it because it was not made by me or bought by me? Because it was bought by the neighbor whom I don’t like?
If do not feel connected to it as it would be my daily extension and amplification.
Quite sad. We exploited so much resources in the race to make ourself better and feel more complete. But we didn’t succeeded and now resources start to run out but we didn’t found a wise path out of it.
And it is even more sad as I would bet that we all would not have a big problem to consume less if we would feel more connected to all our stuff. If we would feel all that man-made materia around us belonging to us it would scare us for the mountain high responsibility we could feel. If I would feel all the consequences I cause positive and negative ones I would not need my logic to kick myself to consume less and I would not ask myself all the time if I did good today. Could you imagine a hyper connected run with your stuff (perhaps a MTB) through the forest? Me my modified continuum and the forest which lets me know that I am a guest only. Wow! That would let me shiver. Interestingly I was just on the trail yesterday and yes it was very cool..
As designers we choose the task to humanize technology. I would say we need to welcome back what is us and feel responsible.
GHTime Code(s): nc Mehr