The 1964–65 New York World’s Fair IBM pavilion, designed by Charles Eames with Studio Saarinen

The 1964–65 New York World’s Fair IBM pavilion, designed by Charles Eames with Studio Saarinen

In the days of “Do Designers Need to Know how to Code?” I sided with the approach supporting designers expanding their capabilities.

Over time I realized that it’s not so much that I saw coding as a crucial part of design, but rather as another skill that could give the designer a deeper perspective of the field.


Power User to a Designer

In recent times digital and product design have relied heavily on the ability to produce usable and appealing interfaces. Understanding the market, design trends and new technologies trumped knowledge of graphic history, visual culture and conviction in a vision.

This phase was short lived and is partly responsible for a lot of the short term gains I have been referring to in Everything Will Happen.

It was not sustainable for a few reasons:

  • short term design thinking does not scale
  • executional design doesn’t generate culture
  • designing in a silo lacks purpose and burns through talent
  • it is reactive and does not lead to change

Larger software companies have woken up to this and have started using culture as a taxonomy in the work of the designer (Facebook, Google, Artsy, Huge/KingCoyle).

I believe that the future of design is generative and beautifully challenging. It is safe to say that within the next 5 years some designers will find their practices falling short of the industry.

The future of design is not pixels, nor chair design — it is a deep understanding of the different aspects of the world we live in.