Bring back the Real Designer!


(Brown. J 2012), The Cliche modern designer, (style thinker)

The New role of the ‘Designer’

No matter how we as humans move forward into the future of uncertainties the only this that is know is the need for change. “In times of change we need alternatives, we need new ideas.” (Brown. T, 2009) Yes it is still the need of the designer to reflect their skills in integrative thinking through the balancing of desirability, economic viability and feasibility to their tasks at hand, but it is now both the task at hand and the participants involved in the process that must seek change.

 Times have changed since the industrial era a time were ‘Progress meant improving the basic functionality of life.’ Innovators of the day such as Henry Ford were ‘big thinkers’ for the solving the challenges of the day, such as allowing for a product to be  ‘produced in mass quantities at a price that would spur adoption.’ (Greg, 2011) Providing the much needed ‘radical change’ for the drivers such as the economy and job crisis at the time. People like Henry Ford or Isambard Brunel who stood for ‘radical change or innovation’ of the time were the big thinkers using true design thinking methods for the better of human kind.

Though as “our industrial society has matured so design became a profession and it focused on an even smaller canvas until it came to stand for aesthetics, image and fashion.” In order for use as a global community to ensure the prosperity of life as we know it change is essential. Though unlike the industrial era we now have a new set of challenges or problems such as climate change, global warming, healthcare and education. “In this new time of change we need these new choices because our existing solutions are becoming obsolete.” (Brown. T, 2009)

So firstly “Our species will only make true progress… when we learn to cherish the vitality of all life-forms and living systems equally – not just our own.” (John Thackara, 2013)  As I have mentioned in previous posts, the role of designer is now essential in the progress of our species for the sake of prosperity, but what is still to come is bigger things. It is now the role of the designer to step up to the mark and use their design thinking knowledge and abilities for the better of humanity. This will be through the change from an idea of “consumption to participation” (Brown. T, 2009), starting with culture and people to create solutions rather than technology or a stylistic resolution, ‘less a matter of features and functions and depends more on the interaction with the user’ (Greg, 2011).

Lecturer: Dr Jochen Schweitzer (UTS Business) 25th June 2013, Lecture: ‘ Business Innovation and entrepreneurship’

 Greg Oct 2 2011, ‘A Radical Shift Toward Design’ ,’digital tonto, viewed 29th June 2013<;

 John Thackara April 4 2013, ‘Design At The Service of Living Systems: Lecture in Milan’ ‘Doors of perception’, viewed 29th June 2013, <;

Tim Brown JUL 2009, ‘Tim Brown urges designers to think big’ ‘’, viewed: 30th June 2013 <;

Jody Brown OCTOBER 2, 2012, ‘Well Played, Architect’ ‘Coffee with an architect’ <;


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