El diseño como meta-disciplina (o por que es demasiado importante para dejarlo en manos de los diseñadores)

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El diseño se está convirtiendo en una meta-disciplina, una filosofía y un marco estratégico con los que abordar el desarrollo de cualquier proyecto. Estamos pasando del diseño de productos, de una preocupación por la estética y la usabilidad de esos productos, al diseño de servicios y una preocupación por su eficacia y eficiencia. En otras palabras, pasamos de lo tangible a lo intangible, de lo simple a lo complejo, y de las masas de consumidores gaussianos a las redes ciudadanas que viven en la larga cola. Esta evolución  se acompaña de un cambio de paradigma desde el “diseñar para el usuario” a “diseñar con el usuario”.

Pero, al tiempo que el diseño alcanza mayor relevancia como paradigma central sobre el que giran muchas actividades, los diseñadores deben cambiar su modo de trabajo y empiezan a recibir críticas, incluso dentro de su propio “gremio”, por no saber adaptarse a los nuevos tiempos. Aunque existen algunos diseñadores que están innovando activamente en su método de trabajo; especialmente entre aquellos que empiezan a trabajar sobre problemas complejos donde descubren que un producto no es más que una pieza de un complicado ecosistema de usuarios y soluciones. Uno de estos problemas es la sostenibilidad donde el diseño se está volcando por que la necesidad de la reducción en el uso de materiales y energía pasa por un rediseño de servicios y productos, la transformación de muchos de los segundos en los primeros y la interacción con los usuarios en el proceso de innovación.

En el blog de Dott 07 analizan la adaptación al cambio climático y la cuestión de la sostenibilidad como una oportunidad para este cambio de paradigma en el mundo del diseño, Climate Change: A Design Opportunity?. Así lo plantea su director de programas John Thackara (autor del blog Doors of Perception):

As designers, are we guilty of killing the planet? Eighty percent of the environmental impact of the products and buildings that surround us is determined at the design stage, after all. The ways we have designed the world force most people to waste stupendous quantities of matter and energy in their daily lives.

En Dott 07 siguen esta aproximación:

In Dott 07 in North East England, we are not telling people to behave sustainably. We are designing, with them, more sustainable ways to organise daily life – ways that bring material benefit in the immediate term. Our idea is that if these small steps succeed, even in part, then others can quickly follow suit, better and faster. This way, governments can focus on removing obstacles to change, rather than try to lead it from the top.

Dott 07 is not about traditional design. We don’t design artefacts at all unless they are a necessary part of a sustainable solution. We don’t design communication campaigns telling people how to be green…

We are learning that creativity and innovation are all around us. Our approach in Dott 07 is not to design solutions outside-in, top-down or from scratch. Instead, we use design to enhance, connect and accelerate existing grass-roots innovation. An important part of our job is to alert people to solutions that already exist, but in a different context, or even a different historical time.

Bruce Nussbaum, en su Business Week blog se preguntaba retóricamente hace unos meses si Are Designers The Enemy Of Design?:

In the name of provocation, let me start by saying that DESIGNERS SUCK. I’m sorry. It’s true. DESIGNERS SUCK. There’s a big backlash against design going on today and it’s because designers suck…

Esta crítica se orienta en la misma dirección en la que lo hacen desde Dott 07, y tiene como objetivo destacar la necesidad de un cambio de paradigma desde el “para” al “con los usuarios”:

Design Democracy is the wave of the future. Exceptional design may only be done by great star designers. But the design of our music experiences, the design of our MySpace pages, the design of our blogs, the design of our clothes, the design of our online community chats, the design of our Class of ’95 brochures, the design of our screens, the design of the designs on our bodies—We are all designing more of our lives. And with more and more tools, we, the masses, want to design anything that touches us on the journey, the big journey through life. People want to participate in the design of their lives. They insist on being part of the conversation about their lives…

So one Big Design Management Challenge is how do you switch gears from designing for to designing with? Maybe the object of design is not a finished product but a set of tools that allow people to design their experiences for themselves. Think iPod and iTunes. Think TiVo. Starbucks. Fortunately, design has tremendous tools. In fact, design has evolved from a simple practice to a powerful methodology of Design Thinking that, I believe, can transform society. By that I mean Design, with a capital D, can move beyond fashion, graphics, products, services into education, transportation, economics and politics. Design can become powerful enough to be an approach to life, a philosophy of life. But it can do so only when Design by Ego ends and Design by Conversation begins.

En esta evolución, el cambio de mentalidad es la mayor barrera, y sólo puede ser superada si pasamos de entender el diseño como una disciplina especializada y gremial a concebirlo como una meta-disciplina que indentifica las estrategias adecuadas para abordar los problemas complejos de una sociedad compleja:

But how do people who’ve spent a lifetime using their left-brain, suddenly shift to using both their left and their right? How do people used to deconstructing old problems into their parts and squeezing answers out of each of them then learn to see problems with fresh eyes and integrate parts of many solutions into one new one. Enter design and design thinking. Over the past decade, design has evolved to become an articulated, formalized method of solving problems that can be widely used in business—and in civil society. Design’s focus on observing consumer/patient/student—human behavior, it’s emphasis on iteration and speed, its ability to construct, not destruct, its search for new options and opportunities, its ability to connect to powerful emotions, its optimism, made converts out of tough CEOs. AG Lafely at P&G, Immelt at GE and many others embraced design. Now Mayor Daley of Chicago and Mayor Livingstone of London are embracing it.

Para lograr estos objetivos no se necesita “un gran plan”. Se precisan innovadores y herramientas que abran el camino hacia el cambio. En Core 77 presentaban hace poco una de esas piezas:

Many designers shield their ideas like answers on a math test, but Open Design Club aims to overcome this way of thinking to spark a greater sense of creativity in all its community members. Everyone and anyone is invited to join and share their concepts and open source design products and/or get involved with producing and selling Open Design Club products.

Los problemas complejos que necesitan la participacción activa de actores muy diversos sólo pueden ser abordados desde una perspectiva abierta de colaboración. Open Design Club es un magnífico ejemplo de esta idea. About:

The Open Design Club seeks to create a culture of open source design and shared creativity. Our aim is the collaborative creation of a source of inspiration for design products and the free development of of creative potentials.

The platform offers the opportunity for designers and creatives to increase their popularity by sharing and spreading their ideas. 

We want to make you think, rethink, design, redesign, make and remake.Open Design Club is dedicated to:

Designers and Creatives who want to share their creativity.
Design which is made to inspire other designs.
People who want to become active and do sth.

The Open Design Club was founded to create a place where you can share your ideas with others. We believe that removing copyrights from our designs will inspire creativity and result in multiple new designs. This is the place to present your work to the puplic and utilize it for others.

Get inspired and use the possibilities.

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