Thoughts and explanation about design as a strategy

What is being done, – a few links for information.

My first speech in KHiO in January 2005 – a kind of tired of Design with the big D and wondering how things are really going.

Many great things happened in KHiO during my time there as a dean. For example did I go to Maputo in Mozambique, not knowing what consequences that would have.

When we set up the new Master Program in KHiO Design Faculty, we immediately started with a project that we named The Sally Anne project. Later I and Maziar met friends that had been invited to Norsk Form where I was speaking about design and responsibility. This friend is Lorraine Gamman, a long time friend of Maziar. They run a project in London named Design Against Crime. This project aims to design in the way to reduce the opportunity of crime. There are many similar design oriented projects going on, like the various inclusive design proposals in the Helen Hamlyn Centre in London.

Through talks we came first up with the idea of a design orientated something that we named Don’t Panic. We kind of agreed that we were in a kind of a grief situation, not liking most things in our daily life. Maziar made the very nice map of how we should classify design in our project.

Lots of talking and the Zeitgeist has moved our views towards projects that might be called Doing Good Projects. The world was changing and many design schools at the same time. Al Gore fronted the film An Inconvenient Truth in 2006 and we know the story.

There has been lots of talk about how design and technology has left the user behind in many cases. Nobody likes television remote controls, nobody likes checking in the flying at the airport and so on . . .

My definition is Design is


There is technological progress moving fast ahead while we have lagged behind in adjusting it to us, the normal people.

When we moved to Maputo we for example tried to get the students to run a service design project through visual communication. Calling it Social Design.

In the Faculty of Design in Oslo we have talked about the issues that designers have to face when they get out of the program. Design has changed fundamentally during the last decades. More than half of the users of design in the world today do not live in the Western World. They are the new market that determines how things are going to be designed.

Design and Art has always operated differently to the other specializations. It is open, unpredictable but comes with results through problem definitions. And then proposing solutions. Design should be included in all other activity in the world and not exist for itself. Designers are those that will be worth their salt in the coming decades because of their method – s.

The students in the school are very interested in issues like Design for the other 90%it shows when the students get free projects to do. The select to do socially responsive projects much of the time,

Paola Antonelli says:

“There are still people who believe that design is just about making things, people and places pretty. In truth, design has spread like gas to almost all facets of human activity, from science and education to politics and policymaking. For a simple reason: one of design’s most fundamental tasks is to help people deal with change.”

We name it Design Strategy. There are various projects there, have a look.

February 6, 2011   Posted in: DESIGN, PONDERINGS