Design Has Never Been More Important
Even though traditionally design has been and continues to be in service of something’s “content”, I find it dubious that this dynamic will remain in its current balance so long as there’s something to communicate, whether it be information, stories, ideas, identities, products, or what have you.
I think the more abundant all of these things become, especially in the age of the internet, and then the age of mobile, and whichever next major platform wins next (AR, VR, even voice), that design—form in particular, meaning every single decision involved in something’s existence—is only going to matter more, not less. It will only become harder to identify which things to trust, which things we might gravitate towards, which things will have our consistent loyalty, and allegiance, and place of belonging, and source of self. There are more products today than ever before, whether tangible (consumer packaged goods) or intangible (news, entertainment, affiliations) and these things will only increase overtime as the market grows and expands to new fields we haven’t even thought of yet.
And the idea that design always takes a backseat in favor of these things, to let these things shine, seems rather backwards to me. There is always form. And there is always intent behind form whether intentionally or unintentionally. And I truly believe we’re inching towards a world where the form is no longer just an afterthought, something that has to be imagined or established after the conception of an idea, but rather, the very source of the idea, the foundation and core pillar of what something might be, and the very thing that differentiates that something not just in perception but in overall experience, market value, and purpose in people’s lives.
Design will only become more important, not less. There has never been a better time to be a designer, to be a student of form, to be a champion of communication, to be a firebrand of culture, to be an author of invention, in the history of ever. Designers might be problem solvers, but more and more, designers are going to be makers and builders and creators. Not just mercenaries for hire to solve problems or perform commissions, but the spark of new realities themselves, the ones who will make the future happen faster, because of their belief that something—including and especially and never in spite of its form—deserves to exist.