The State of Design Festival in Australia is a huge design event that places itself at “the heart of design thinking and design activity.” The name of the festival alone got me thinking – what does the current design ecosystem mean for the definition of what design is and can be?
The state of design, from my perspective, is almost impossible to pinpoint. People are talking about design more than ever before, but what does that mean for the future? Design today is lucrative, but you’re not guaranteed to profit from your talents unless you can do it all (web, motion, print, illustration). And what does it mean that saying you’re a graphic designer immediately leads to the question “oh awesome, can you design my website?” How did those become interrelated so completely? And what does the transition of the common perception of the act of designing from a fine art to a digital communication vehicle mean for the development of ideas? If we’re breaking down categories and erasing all the boundaries of what is art, what is design and what is everything else, does that make design irrelevant or incredibly relevant in ways it never was before?
What does it mean that “designers” are no longer just artists, but “design-thinkers?” And… are they?