Design Leadership — How Design Thinks?


The new Amsterdam Public Library.

A short piece by RISD VP of Media + Partners Becky Bermont in the Harvard Business Review Blog describes her experiences learning about the way design can contribute to how business does what it does. Despite the reference to designers as “experience perfectionists” who want to arrange the music in a room to enhance a meeting that will take place therein (wtf? makes designers sound like flouncy dandys or something), the sensibility of the short piece is to think about design as an active, leading contributor to business strategy. The heart and soul of the larger challenges we think about here at the Laboratory are in the right place in Bermont’s note. It ends with the necessary short-question style pitch to businesses to perhaps come to RISD (as, evidently, Target does on a regular basis) to consult on how design can shape what the business does and how it does it. All good stuff. Read it here.

Why do I blog this? Always on the look out for these sorts of things, looking for some substance and arguments and good-points on this topic of design leadership. What is it? How does design contribute from the start and take charge of how to create more sane, habitable worlds. Continue reading Design Leadership — How Design Thinks?

However, as Lacan taught us

Sunday March 29, 13.25.20

Swerve, or invert. Look behind, a common strategy I employ for being more certain of whence I have come. Nothing fancy, other than I get lost easily in new places, and know that returning, hopefully, to where I have come from will present an entirely different landscape and skyline than the one I see when setting forth.

..when we are confronted with an apparently clear choice, sometimes the correct thing to do is choose the worst option, so that the thing may redeem itself, shedding its old skin and emerging in a new unexpected shape.

Why do I blog this? An informal lobby for inversion as a design strategy. Lifted (briefly wordsmithed for local context) from the introduction to the new edition of Zizek’s The Sublime Object of Ideology. The possibility that doing the opposite of what seems the clear choice may lead to deeper, richer, creative insights into a question or problem is a persistent theme here in the Near Future Laboratory’s Bureau of Creative Opposition. It’s a strategy for untactful sideways glances at things. Provocation to make the very normal seem very strange. Often enough, it is the Laboratory that appears strange, which is just fine with us. We’re wearing Swedish workman’s kilts these days, and being confused by the family for janitors with our Dickies work shirts. Etcetera.
Continue reading However, as Lacan taught us