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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). The
first summit of the VDC took place on January 12, 2007, when the
group gathered in New York City to be informed about the project,
and most importantly, provide their insights and guidance on how to
uncover the skills, needs and expectations of the various classes
of designers in 2015. This meeting resulted in the identification
of some key dimensions to explore, such as trends that may affect
the profession. Lists of possible designers, agencies, companies
and educational institutes to visit were discussed along with
research methods needed to gather needed insight.
A second summit was held February 23, 2007, in San Francisco to
gain insight from those VDC participants located closer towards the
west coast as well as those unable to attend the first summit. From
this meeting, next steps in the research plan were determined and
“core competencies,” or those skills which all designer will need
in 2015, were addressed.
During the months of April and May 2007, more than 30 interviews
were conducted around the country with sources identified by AIGA,
Adobe and the VDC. These influential leaders helped to further
shape the direction of the initiative and define sample designer
personas from which skills could be derived.
The third and final meeting of the VDC took place in New York
City on May 14, 2007. Participants were given a brief on key
findings from the field research as well as the progress of the
AIGA/Adobe project team. During this meeting, council members began
to shape the final language of the initiative and propose
directions for the final deliverables.
AIGA's biennial design conference, “Next,” offered an
invaluable opportunity to gather feedback and share the project
with a large, diverse group of practicing designers, educators,
students and business leaders. A session of the 2015 initiative was
held during the conference, which featured a Q & A portion of
the presentation with VDC and AIGA/Adobe project team members.
Onsite interviews were also conducted and surveys were distributed
and collected. The results from “Next” confirmed the project's
direction, that designers need: core fundamentals; skills to work
in increasingly interdisciplinary environments; to be familiar with
user research; able to work across platform; focused on
sustainability; and be able to communicate effectively.
Following the “Next” conference, the AIGA/Adobe research team
consolidated research findings and finalized conclusions that could
be taken to the community for discussion. More than 1,500
respondents participated in an online survey on www.aiga.org during April 2008. The
responses from this survey then helped to establish the
presentation of trends and competencies as
well as provide insight for further study.
AIGA thanks the Visionary Design
Council (formed in 2007), a select group of key influencers:
Six major trends, and the challenges they pose for the
profession (which AIGA will take on as its challenges), emerged
from our research.
Section: Tools and Resources -
education, design educators, students
With insight from the profession's best thinkers, AIGA and Adobe outline the qualifications and expectations of future designers.
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.
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.
We’ve all heard the joke about a client saying that their nephew could just make them a logo—but we’re also wary of the idea of certifying designers. I’ll agree that a certification isn’t inherently valuable—you need to have the work to back it up. I believe that AIGA is best positioned to certify designers. But what would that look like?
Section: Tools and Resources
Antionette Carroll of AIGA St. Louis, the chair of AIGA's Diversity and Inclusion task force, shares some background on the problem of diversity in design, why it matters, and what this program hopes to achieve.
Section: Tools and Resources -
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