Importance of Design Thinking by Cathy Sandeen

“Design is the essence of emotional attachment to a product or service or experience.” –Tom Peters’ Daily Quotation, February 5, 2010

Once I began writing blog posts about the importance of fostering creativity and the importance integrative (left brain/right brain) thinking, (Creativity, Creative Economy, Nexus Career), I began noticing more and more articles that reinforce or align with these ideas. Two very recent items caught my eye.

Photo from Bloomberg/BusinessWeek

First is a Bloomberg/BusinessWeek series on The Value of Design by Helen Walters. 

The series features a number of interesting articles including Why Design Matters, The Role of Design in Business, and The World’s Most Influential Designers.

We often think of design as applied art—and it is—but it has become much more than that. As this article illustrates, “design” is a way of thinking that brings innovation and creativity to solving a broad range of problems. All these design activities require the integration right brain activities and skills into the analytic (e.g. “business” and “problem solving”) domains. Integration. Links. Connections.

 With all the attention on Apple’s new iPad product, this NY Times article, Steve Jobs and the Economics of Elitismoffers an interesting analysis.

Photo by: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

As the article explains: “Apple represents the ‘auteur model of innovation,’ observes John Kao, a consultant to corporations and governments on innovation. In the auteur model, he said, there is a tight connection between the personality of the project leader and what is created. Movies created by powerful directors, he says, are clear examples, from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ to James Cameron’s ‘Avatar.’”

To me, this is further evidence of the human-ness of the design activity. A machine cannot be created to design on this level. 

Acknowledging that good design occurs around the globe, I also feel the impulse to create unique, functional, beautiful design is strongly linked to American values like individualism, progress, and free enterprise. All this reinforces the notion that innovation, creativity—and design—are core capacities of the US workforce, capacities that cannot be easily outsourced, capacities that must be treasured and nurtured. 



2 responses to “Importance of Design Thinking by Cathy Sandeen

  1. This might interest you if you haven’t already seen it–conversations with 30 well known designers, answering the same two questions.

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