Friday, August 25, 2006

Design Futures: Part 1

Part 1 on where the design world is likely to go in the future (Part 2 Below) ...

"In July 2006, a group of designers with nearly 50 cumulative years of experience designing products for companies like Apple, eBay, Macromedia, Nike, Palm, and Yahoo got together to talk about the future of design. We weren’t looking to predict what’s next but instead to discuss the patterns and trends affecting the design industry as we move forward.

Dirk Knemeyer
Over the last few years, conversations here in the U.S. about the future of digital product design typically have an undertone of fear because of the perception that India and – especially– China are presenting a critical long-term threat to U.S. business and design hegemony.

One of the typical threads in this conversation is a belief that, while the lower value and more production-oriented jobs might be in danger, the more creative and higher thinking jobs remain safe. That is an incredibly shortsighted – not to mention condescending – view. The reality is that emerging markets such as China, India, Eastern Europe and others represent a broad and total future for our industry. The long-standing dominance enjoyed here in the United States is going to diffuse and result in far more global balance. Ultimately that is a good thing, even though we might expect the standard of living for average, middle class families here to suffer a bit in the years ahead. Obviously that is the result of myriad factors, only one of which is the impact of emerging centers of digital product design leadership.

Understanding this broad dynamic, then, we’re compelled to think about the future and try to figure out how we’re going to fit into it. Luckily for the four of us, our combination of experience, reputation and track record will almost ensure comfortable and profitable careers. But what of the next generation? For the 10 and 15 and 20 year olds in our culture who may be drawn to a career similar to our own, what does their path look like? How will they find success? And, taking the question a level higher and beyond just the culture that we share, what will the international tapestry of digital product design look like as the children of today come of age?"   (Continued via Functioning Form)   [Usability Resources]

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