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Q&A

What kind of impact do you think this has on design education and practice?

Frido Smulders

Delft University of Technology

These new technologies are having an impact on design practice already, and it could have more impact on design education in the sense that we maybe need more courses that make students literate on particular elements of this topic. However, I am not sure this will have an impact on the fundamentals of design education. Designing still remains designing. Of course you have to be updated with the current tools and developments and get additional knowledge.

Maybe design practices will be changed to a far larger extent because it is not about products anymore, it is designing intangibles and it means that if we prepare students for the design practice we might have to update our literature, because now design literature about designing intangibles is pretty weak.

Lucy Kimbell

University of Oxford

The impacts on design education include: enabling students to learn how to understand and digest research in several fields including design, management, social sciences and IT; working in cross-disciplinary, cross-organization teams; working as leaders and facilitators; learning how to use designers' tendencies to generate novel ideas and novel research methods effectively within teams and projects; and generally being a lot more modest about what design is or can be, and more attuned to the consequences of designers' decisions.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

Designswarm

Top-down design just doesn't work. Instead, designers will lead people to understand the possibilities of the technology for themselves. And it can be as simple as tracking your cat, or measuring what you eat because you're on a diet. The challenge for designers today is to make the people use the technology for their very unique needs. I think there is a big confusion about the design role, yes, everybody can put duct tape on the door knob if it breaks, but that's not the kind of design role we are talking about, that's just simple problem-solving. The role of the designer is to see further and not only see a unique personal need but also to place himself or herself in a certain context and decide which tools are the best for the people to create their own projects.