Paola speaks of the power of design in a broad ideological sense: design as an inescapable dimension of human activity; design as a powerful political tool; design as means to advance social agendas.
The underlying belief held by prominent industry leaders, Paola included, is that design and design thinking, though sometimes vaguely thrown around as a catch-all definition of what all the creative people do, can stimulate innovation in profound ways —ways other disciplines have arguably yet to fully realize.
This is design’s ultimate promise. Design as a conceptual methodology, not simply a toolset for adding gratuitous features, but a guiding framework for improving all aspects of human life.
A design-minded individual—not necessarily a “designer”—may, for example, embrace progressive design centric methods: rapid prototyping, experimentation, iteration on multiple levels, an openness to change, interdisciplinary collaboration, intuition, reflection, and various observation techniques to solve problems in boldly unconventional ways. To this end the designer’s methodology, driven in part by curiosity, imagination and user-centered principles, can be everyone’s method. In fact a process rooted in design oriented principles can be a logical systematic way of approaching everything from the management of an application’s power consumption across digital platforms, to solving some of the most complex and challenging problems facing the world today.
Design in its noblest form can help us intelligently end world hunger, minimize the effects of climate change, drastically curb our reliance on fossil fuels, close the social inequality gap, and the list goes on.
This is the inescapable potential of design.
Image source: PeaceLovePhotography