Hi, this is the first edition of Diverge/Converge a monthly e-mail on Design and Strategy. Things that I find personally fascinating.
Design in 2019
Last week John Maeda published his yearly design in tech report
The trend that stands out for me is that design is more about designing your design work. Which was already a trend coming up last year in a presentation by Carissa Carter.
Designers find themselves more often designing a system that fuels designs. For example a design system, a wysiwyg editor or state of the art Ai driven system.
A very interesting topic and we’re only scratching the surface.
Design automation is still on the rise and this year it made it to the ‘keep vigilant watch’ of Amy Webb’s yearly tech report.
Not only do our design tools get better, algorithms are taking over a lot of jobs that can be done manually, but are require a lot of time or craftsmanship. Better, more accessible tools democratise design and the act of making something.
For example Spectre uses machine learning to create a beautiful time-lapsed pictures, something very difficult before. Or take a tool like colourise, it takes a black and white picture and colourises it, with a focus Singaporean photos. Or SC-FEGAN, a tool for altering faces just by drawing on them.
Pinterest on steroids
If these generative tools move from pictures to video (and they already did) we eventually move beyond 3D-modelling to create alternate realities that look completely real.
This kind of generative technology can also used towards turning any idea into pictures or maybe even a technical scheme. Think what this can do for architecture or interior design. It’s like talking to Pinterest or turning a mood-board into AutoCAD. Increasing accessibility by lowering the technical barrier.
The watch website Hodinkee makes a Podcast and they have some great long discussions with designers and their passion for design and engineering.
The history of Design Thinking
IDEO popularised Design Thinking. The definition is quite broad. For me it’s applying skills designers learned to bigger problems that aren’t necessarily a design problem, but a human problem. And allow non-designers to use them.
It’s a different way of looking at a problem. Long time IDEO was on the forefront of this design domain. It’s great they created this overview. IDEO and Design Thinking contributed a lot to how design is spreading through companies.