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Wednesday 07| 9|03
Design Leadership

I have been thinking about design leadership lately and reading the Design Management Journal and looking for workshops, seminars or classes on Design Strategy and Leadership.

My role at work has shifted a bit—getting bigger since a peer manager left the company, I now manage the entire west coast UI team within the AOL Studio organization—which is 225 people strong (the studio, not my team).

I am pointed to (courtesy IDBlog) an interview with Ken Friedman Ph.D. found in the NextDesign Leadership Institute Journal. Titled New Design Research: Leading or Following? Friedman offers a nifty definition of design:

“It is difficult to consider design leadership before defining the word design. The word has two levels of meaning.

On one level, the term design covers nearly any planning process.

The word design refers to a process that creates something new or reshapes something for a purpose. The design process serves many kinds of purpose to meet needs or solve problems.

Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon defined design as the process by which we devise courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.

The artifacts, systems, and processes we design are not themselves design. They are designed. They are the outcomes of the design process. This leads us to the second level of the term design.

On this level, many design practitioners think of design as BOTH the design process AND the domain-specific outcome of a specific design activity. Here we find software design, systems design, organization design, graphic design, industrial design, interaction design, engineering design, and dozens more.

To speak of design leadership, we must clarify the kinds of design we intend to consider. ”

He goes onto talk about the PhD-Design mailing list and the types of discussions on the list as well as the relationship between research and practioners and the symbiotic relationship needed to continue to advance the field. It's a good read and I look forward to what else the journal has coming.

Posted by erin at 09:03 PM | in Interaction Design

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