Salon.com Reports on the Importance of Graduate Design Education

Why designers have arrived in corporate boardrooms

Design is now being lauded as a much-needed mindset for business leaders

Angele Beausoleil
November 26, 2018 2:00am (UTC)
This piece originally appeared on The Conversation.

Design is heading to a corporate boardroom near you.

Its form is not a chair, handbag or technology. It is human. This new type of designer is equally comfortable in a navy suit or black turtleneck. Fuelled by top-selling business books and management consultant reports, this latest design movement is all about customer-tailored companies thriving in today’s uncertain economic and political climate.

Over the past 15 years we have seen an exponential growth in new design-related jobs — from computer user-interface (UI) and user-experience (Ux) designer, service designer, customer experience designer, business designer and chief design officer. These, and other design roles, were highlighted in Fast Company’s 2016 article “The Most Important Design Jobs Of The Future.” More recently, design jobs are popping up in unexpected places. Designers are now inside banks, accounting firms, telecommunication departments and manufacturers.

It is a combination of influence, timing and proof of success.

Early influences can be attributed to a series of published works over the past decade, particularly those authored by big thinkers like Roger Martin, design consultancy leaders like Tim Brown and design tech executives such as John Maeda. They, along with small academic and industry communities, have long connected design to business processes, operations and strategies.

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