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Design transformation

What, in broad terms, is happening to design right now? According to a new paper from RED in London, we are experiencing two important shifts: Firstly, in where design skills are being applied; and secondly, in who is doing the designing. A new discipline is emerging, they say, that builds on traditional design skills to address social and economic issues. “Solutions to today’s most intractable issues – the rise of long-term health conditions, the impacts of climate change, the consequences of an ageing population – need to place the individual at their heart, and build the capacity to innovate into organisations and institutions”. I’m not comfortable with the words “transformation design” – they suggest a new-agey Dr Who – but it’s a well-written piece that explains cogently that old and new approaches to design can and need to co-exist.

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