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In order to fulfill the expectations placed upon designers in the
future, they will need to employ a set of skills that include some
beyond today’s typical scope. No single designer is likely to have all
the skills required, yet this research revealed the range of
competencies that a studio or design department, among its full
complement of staff, will need in order to meet the demands of the
These competencies uncover the challenges for educational
institutions, in developing curricula, and for studios, in recruiting
their teams. The competencies are listed below in order of their ranked
importance in the online survey:
Ability to create and develop visual response to communication
problems, including understanding of hierarchy, typography, aesthetics,
composition and construction of meaningful images
Ability to solve communication problems including identifying the
problem, researching, analysis, solution generating, prototyping, user
testing and outcome evaluation
Broad understanding of issues related to the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic contexts for design
Ability to respond to audience contexts recognizing physical,
cognitive, cultural and social human factors that shape design decisions
Understanding of and ability to utilize tools and technology
Ability to be flexible, nimble and dynamic in practice
Management and communication skills necessary to function
productively in large interdisciplinary teams and “flat” organizational
Understanding of how systems behave and aspects that contribute to sustainable products, strategies and practices
Ability to construct verbal arguments for solutions that address
diverse users/audiences; lifespan issues; and business/organizational
Ability to work in a global environment with understanding of cultural preservation
Ability to collaborate productively in large interdisciplinary teams
Understanding of ethics in practice
Understanding of nested items including cause and effect; ability to
develop project evaluation criteria that account for audience and
With insight from the profession's best thinkers, AIGA and Adobe outline the qualifications and expectations of future designers.
Section: Tools and Resources -
Six major trends, and the challenges they pose for the
profession (which AIGA will take on as its challenges), emerged
from our research.
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.
In order to fulfill the expectations placed upon designers in
the future, they will need to employ a set of skills that include
some beyond today's typical scope.
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).
Learn how IDEO collaborated with internet icon Lars Hinrichs, founder of XING, to create a company that’s aimed to revolutionize the European tech industry by putting
the needs of “geeks” first.
Section: Why Design -
metrics of effectiveness, Making the Case
If you’re embarking on a design career, a good mentor can act as an adviser, motivator, counselor and invaluable guiding force. Ram Castillo, founder of a resource site for design students and recent design graduates, outlines the tangible benefits of career mentorship and offers tips on how to find and make the right mentor-match.
Section: Tools and Resources -
job search, networking, professional development, mentoring, advice
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