Shifting Design Positions as it Evolves

Michael Surtees

After reading Kevin McCullagh’s Core 77 article Design is changing in myriad ways. Are you? I started making a number of connections to other posts that I’ve come across lately. Kevin writes “game changers map out future opportunities by exploring the interplay between their current know-how and potential new applications for it in a changing world” and he goes on to explain how this is done. That statement was preceded by explaining in detail about how design has always been in flux though today the evolution is creating multidimensional issues that didn’t have to be considered at any other point in history. For those designers that see their work as a matter of communication and not as an offline vs. online thing, this article speaks to their transitional ability already. If you grew up on print and remember the days of Linotype Kevin’s article is worth purusing.

But it would be arrogant to think that designers are the only people going through a crazy transition today. How about photographers? Two posts from Alec Soth’s blog are worth checking out. They both have to do w/ him questioning the quality or lack there of of photographs on flickr. Is there more originality going on w/ product shots on eBay? The first post is titled Where are the great pictures on Flickr? and the second is Shore, King & Street Fashion

Dave Gray illustration

And the last of the connected posts is from Dave Gray illustrating the Generalist and specialist approaches. I typically swing towards the idea that the generalist approach is the way to go, but then I wonder if anyone can truly attain a level of greatness if you’re good in a lot of areas as opposed to being the best in one?

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  • Richard Stewart

    Hey Michael,

    Interesting post,
    I was in the process of listening to a BBC interview when I read your post, the more I read and listened, the more I was able to make comparison’s and find similarities between the two.

    The interview was with Eric Von Hippel, a Professor and the Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He specializes in research related to the nature and economics of distributed and open innovation.

    In the interview he talked about how for innovation to progress it needs to move away from corporations and the hesitation they have about utilizing it, and allow users to have much more input in the development of innovation. Some of which can already be seen in open source software development, and soon product development etc. I have posted the links below for you.

    Cheers, Rich

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/global_business.shtml

    http://web.mit.edu/evhippel/www/democ1.htm

  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    It’s interesting how things can come together like that. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to listen to the podcast due to stupid BBC regulations but I’ve downloaded the actual book from the second url you posted – thanks Rich.