Design isn’t everything. It’s just almost everything.

“It’s not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.” Anna Castelli Ferrieri, furniture designer
“We don’t need art to live. We need art to want to live.” Natasha Clark, co-founder of Summit Yearbooks

Being a designer means being a problem solver. Design a product, a business, an idea, a philosophy, even just a #shelfie. Design something. Make the world a little more peaceful, beautiful, functional. Watch the video here > to get inspired and read below to get educated on the value of design.
“The wealth of nations and the well-being of individuals now depend on having artists in the room. In a world enriched by abundance but disrupted by the automation and outsourcing of white-collar work, everyone, regardless of profession, must cultivate an artistic sensibility. We may not all be Dali or Degas. But today we must all be designers.
It’s easy to dismiss design – to relegate it to mere ornament, the prettifying of places and objects to disguise their banality. But that is a serious misunderstanding of what design is and why it matters—especially now.”
-Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind
“Design is the principle difference between love and hate.”
Tom Peters, management thinker and guru
“Design is interdisciplinary. We’re producing people who can think holistically.”
-Claire Gallagher, former architect and supervisor of curriculum at the Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia.
“Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.”
-Paola Antonelli, curator of architecture and design, Museum of Modern Art

The science of design

The new design economy

“Outsourcing is rapidly eroding America’s superpower status. Beginning in 2002 the US began running trade deficits in advanced technology products with Asia, Mexico and Ireland. As these countries are not leaders in advanced technology, the deficits obviously stem from US offshore manufacturing. In effect, the US is giving away its technology, which is rapidly being captured, while US firms reduce themselves to a brand name with a sales force. [Source.]

We used to take advantage of the poverty of nations by giving them the jobs that no one here wanted to do. Now, companies realize that they can save more money by offshoring higher-wage jobs, too. The results are competent labour in poorer countries with lower wages, which means big savings for companies.
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, the more ‘offshorable’ occupations are not low-end jobs, whether measured by wages or by education. The correlation between skill and offshorability is almost zero.” -Alan Blinder, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.  [Link.]

Automation is also making irrelevant some industry work. We’ve seen it at banks and grocery stores. Computers are also processing lab work, analyzing blood. Increasingly more legal information and health information is available online to allow people to self-diagnose, self-help, and to get answers from experts fast and cheaply through sites like Just Answer. Daniel Pink writes that a typical person can write 400 lines of a code in a day, whereas Applegenics applications can do the same work in less than a second.

Black-and-white portrait of a stunning fashionable model sitting in a chair in Art Nouveau style. Business, elegant businesswoman. Interior, furniture.
“[U]nlocking the potential of the creative economy also means promoting the overall creativity of societies, affirming the distinctive identity of the places where it flourishes and clusters, improving the quality of life there, enhancing local image and prestige and strengthening the resources for the imagining of diverse new futures.
World trade of creative goods and services totalled a record of US$ 624 billion in 2011 and more than doubled from 2002 to 2011. At the same time, creativity and culture also have a significant non-monetary value that contributes to inclusive social development, to dialogue and understanding between peoples. Human creativity and innovation are the key drivers of [the creative economy] and have become the true wealth of nations in the 21st century.” UNESCO 
“Design is a high-concept aptitude that is difficult to outsource or automate—and that increasingly confers a competitive advantage in business. […] Corporate recruiters have begun visiting the top arts grad schools—places such as the Rhode Island School of Design [and] the School of the Art Institute of Chicago […]—in search of talent. […] With applications climbing and ever more arts grads occupying key corporate positions, the rules have changed: the MFA is the new MBA.” -Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind
Photo says, design is where it's at. now and for the foreseeable future. what are we teaching our next generation workforce?
What do organizations and companies need that is hard to outsource? Creativity. Understanding of the culture enough to create policies, advertising, images, design, ideas, stories that are relevant and that resonate. People who can create meaning out of seemingly nothing, out of disparate events and information, out of tragedies. People who can empathize, who can create business not hated by consumers. People who can communicate in ways that engender trust and enthusiasm by the public. 
First, they need to know the culture well enough to work with its information. Our students have that advantage. 
Second, they need to be critical thinkers, able to connect ideas. Our English, Psychology, Gender Studies, Philosophy, and History high school classes should take care of that. 
Third, they need to be design literate. Who is seeing to that? 


Share your thoughts with us. How can we work together? What can we dream up for today’s youth? How can we be on the cutting edge of design education in high schools?

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