Video: Christopher Simmons

Problem Seeking

 Filmed on October 10, 2012, at “Gain: AIGA Design for Social Value Conference

About this video

Most of us have been taught that design is about problem solving. The problem with that view is that it places design at the end of the process rather than the beginning. It puts the responsibility for finding, defining and framing the problem in someone else’s hands and simply asks the designer to respond. But the amazing thing about designers is that we’re trained to look and see differently. The skills that make us good problem-solvers make us even better problem-seekers. The methodologies that make us effective communicators can also make us conversation starters. So how do we start? Where do we go from here? Why are we waiting for permission?

Speaker bio

Christopher Simmons is a designer, writer, educator, design advocate and founder of the noted San Francisco design office, MINE™. He is the author of four books; the most recent, Just Design, focuses on designing for social issues and critical causes. In addition to his own blog, Teaching Design, he writes sporadically for a variety of publications and organizations including AIGA, HOW and He is an advisor to Project M and an adjunct professor of design at the California College of the Arts.