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Design in the Age of Change

image of Design in the Age of Change


Change is inevitable. This is the only constant in our lives. Yet, change is also something that we fear. We seek comfort in the familiar, in routines and in conventions. We are afraid of things that we don't know or we don’t understand. We fear change because we don’t know how change will affect us. Change, however, is necessary for progress. Sometimes, change happens naturally due to circumstances beyond our control, and sometimes we initiate change because we can or because we must.

In 2020, we experienced the biggest change of our lifetimes. For a brief moment in history, the world came to a halt. Then, everything changed. Many things that we used to take for granted no longer applied. We experienced major disruptions to our daily lives. As if in some kind of perfect storm, so many things happened all at once – global pandemic, social inequalities, climate change, racial injustices, riots and unrests, gender struggles and rapid advances of new technologies. This book started to take shape in the midst of it all, and in a way, it is a time capsule of how we experienced the birth of what became known as the 'new normal'.

Designers are the kind of people who thrive in times of change. In fact, it is their job to create change. The nature of their job is such that they have to take an existing situation and change it into a better, or a more preferred situation. Some do this by relying on their imagination and personal experiences, and some use evidence-based research to inform their work. Regardless of this, many share the belief that they can somehow make the world a better place – on a micro or a macro level.

During this period of massive change, Gjoko Muratovski invited ten highly influential design figures – including iconic design leaders such as Carole Bilson, Karim Rashid, Bruce Mau, Steven Heller and Don Norman – to reflect on the state of things today. In return, each one of them shares a highly personal account on why change is good. The book also features a foreword written by the president of the World Design Organisation (WDO), Srini Srinisavan, and a conclusion by one of the greatest design philosophers of our time, Ken Friedman.

By looking to the past and reflecting on the present, these designers project very personal images of the future that they would like to see. The conversations are very broad, and they cover highly diverse topics. From the effects of the pandemic, to issues of race and gender, notions of beauty, technology and industry, to global and local economies, politics, power, privilege and the importance of community.

A 'must-read' for anyone interested in how designers and design can change the world.

Gjoko Muratovski is a university executive, award-winning designer and innovation consultant working with leading organisations, Fortune 500 companies and governments from around the world, and a fellow of the Design Research Society.




Related Topics: Visual Arts

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