"All businesses, no matter what they make or sell, should recognize the power and financial value of good design.
Obviously, there are many different types of design: graphic, brand, packaging, product, process, interior, interaction/user experience, Web and service design, to name but a few. ...
You see, expecting great design is no longer the preserve of a picky design-obsessed urban elite - that aesthetically sensitive clique who'd never dare leave the house without their Philippe Starck eyewear and turtleneck sweaters and buy only the right kind of Scandinavian furniture. Instead, there's a new, mass expectation of good design: that products and services will be better thought through, simplified, made more intuitive, elegant and more enjoyable to use.
Design has finally become democratized, and we marketers find ourselves with new standards to meet in this new 'era of design.' To illustrate, Apple, the epitome of a design-led organization, now has a market capitalization of $570 billion, larger than the GDP of Switzerland. Its revenue is double Microsoft's, a similar type of technology organization but one not truly led by design (just compare Microsoft Windows with Apple's Lion operating system)."
(Adam Swann, 5/03/2012, Forbes)
Fig.1 "Mille Miglia" bicycle by VIVA [http://www.vivabikes.com/].
"We are a culture that increasingly questions consumption and advertising, which are at the heart of industrial and graphic design disciplines. We rely on a dynamic and constantly evolving technological platform that touches all aspects of life. There is an increased demand for service-based jobs as our country re-evaluates economic sustainability. People are demanding quality, reflective and meaningful experiences in their world.
Yet design education, as a whole, hasn't embraced these challenges and opportunities.
To be direct and explicit, educators who have taught the same foundation studies courses for years will need to dramatically revamp their courses or face irrelevance. Educators who have repeated the same kerning and hand-drawn letterform exercises will find themselves teaching at a school that simply isn't focused on typography anymore - and tenure notwithstanding, these individuals will find themselves without a role. Educators who are unwilling to retrain themselves will be replaced.
If you are one of these educators, or you work at one of these programs, you may acknowledge these necessary shifts, but find personal action to be difficult. It is difficult. And it's difficult because the shift is large, fundamental and of critical importance. You'll need to read, and take courses, and attend new conferences; you'll need to re-build yourself and your expertise in a new light. You'll go from knowing all of the answers to not even knowing the problems.
But it's no longer a matter of choice. Because if you aren't able to find a new opportunity, a new specialty, and embrace the topics described above, you may soon find yourself alone or replaced. Our subject matter is too important, and our role too fundamental, to leave to the traditions of even great educational movements like the Bauhaus. The subject of design is the humanization of technology, and as long as technological advancements continue, so the pragmatic and day-to-day jobs of designers will continue to morph. And so must design education continue to evolve."
(Jon Kolko, 2010)
Jon Kolko (2010). 'Remapping The Curriculum', AIGA | the professional association for design
AIGA Design Educators Conference "New Contexts/New Practices", October 8-10, 2010, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh