How are design studios adapting for the future?

AIGA and Adobe ask leading design firms to envision changes ahead

NEW YORK—June 6, 2013. The nature of a design studio as a collaborative organism is adapting to new dynamics in client needs and design’s changing disciplines. To help designers and firms leverage new possibilities and address future challenges, AIGA, the professional association for design, has teamed up with Adobe to present “Defining the Studio of 2015,” a series that asks design leaders to envision how their studios—as teams, spaces and experiences—will evolve over the next few years.

In essays, Q&As, slideshows and videos, this series features design leaders sharing their team’s unique plans and aspirations for the future in relation to topics such as collaboration, positioning, technology, design thinking, co-creation and multidisciplinary work. By identifying the competencies and workflows that leading firms are developing now, the series will also help designers discover the tools and solutions that will help them prepare.

New stories will be published throughout 2013, but the “Defining the Studio of 2015” series already includes some intriguing perspectives from visionary design leaders:

Nows_our_time Now’s Our Time
In this powerful visual essay, Susana Rodríguez de Tembleque, executive creative director of SYPartners, poses and responds to a series of questions: “Finally, the rest of the world has caught on. Everyone knows it: design matters. How do we respond? What bold moves do we make? How do we change the way we work to truly deliver the power of design?” View the slideshow.
Lebowitz  The Big Decision to Design a Studio for Lots of Small Decisions
Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO of Brooklyn creative agency Big Spaceship, writes, “Have you ever failed to define to a six-year-old something that defines you? When it happened to me, my son and I were cruising through Brooklyn to his school… ‘Dad, what’s design?’ he asked.” Learn how that moment—and Lebowitz’s response—ultimately shaped his thinking about the studio of the future. Read the essay.
Jake Barton  Q&A with Jake Barton of Local Projects
In the first of a series of interviews with design leaders, the founder of award-winning design firm Local Projects weighs in on the mobile computing paradigm, the evolving user experience perspective and what it means for the design studio of the future. Read the Q&A.

“AIGA and Adobe undertook a major research effort to define the Designers of 2015, which led to recommendations on curriculum reform and highlighted the profession’s need for deep collaborative practices,” noted Richard Grefé, AIGA executive director. “This is the next stage in that exploration: How are leaders changing their organizational structures and expectations of a team to meet new demands for designers?”

“As our world becomes more connected and mobile, we see the creative process going through dramatic changes,” said Scott Morris, senior marketing director for Creative Cloud at Adobe. “As the world changes, so must the workflows, tools and services we use to create. This series will hopefully inspire designers to embrace this trend and adapt for the future.”

Together, these contributions offer models for responding to—and driving—change in the design profession in 2015 and beyond. Browse the growing collection online, and share your thoughts!

About Adobe


Adobe, the Official AIGA Sponsor for Design Solutions, helps its customers create, deliver and optimize compelling content and applications—improving the impact of their communications, enhancing their brands and productivity, and ultimately bringing them greater business success. Together, Adobe and designers are turning ordinary interactions into more valuable experiences every day, across media and devices, anywhere, anytime.

About AIGA

AIGA, the professional association for design, advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.

For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Bender, director of communications and marketing
AIGA | the professional association for design