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For several years, it has been apparent that design studios and
corporate departments have been looking for a new kind of designer,
one that has traditional skills and yet a much broader perspective
on problem solving. Because one of AIGA's central responsibilities
is to keep abreast of developments in the industry, we recognized
that we needed to better understand the emerging role of designers
and to enter into a deeper discussion with educators and design
leaders on how to prepare designers for future changes.
Since 2006, AIGA and Adobe
have teamed up to try to define this future. Through interviews,
focus groups, workshops and surveys that were conducted with some
of the profession's best thinkers-educators, observers of the field
and AIGA members-we have attempted to characterize future
designers. The initial phase of the research involved translating
the expectations of participants into the essential competencies that will be needed, in various combinations, by
This research was undertaken so that both AIGA and Adobe could
help prepare designers for the skills and roles that will be
expected of them. The findings should provoke
responses from both the academic community, in developing
curricula, and studios and design departments, which will need to
develop teams that demonstrate these attributes.
The findings are not conclusive, for each designer will have her
own sense as to what will be needed in the future, given the nature
of her work and assignments. Yet these findings begin to shape the
direction for design, based on the input of experts and 2,500 AIGA
members. We believe it accurately reflects the challenges being
posed to designers within the current and evolving design
AIGA will work with Adobe, educators and professionals to
develop tools, techniques, course work and best practices to meet
these trends and
challenges, as well as to develop the critical competencies.
Section: Tools and Resources -
To aid in defining the Designer of 2015 project, recognized and
diverse leaders in the design community were brought together to
serve as an advisory board, called the Visionary Design Council (VDC).
Benjamin Dauer is a senior product designer at National Public Radio in
Washington, D.C. and was recently the lead product designer at
Berlin, Germany. AIGA Baltimore took a field trip to interview
Benjamin about designing in-house for NPR.
Section: Tools and Resources -
data visualization, experience design, in-house design, INitiative
Culture is everything people in a design business do that supports the process of making work happen. Culture can create joy for designers, while improvements in process can facilitate profit.
Section: Tools and Resources
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