From Style to Humility: 150 years of design progress

Dr. Milena Radzikowska
DFP Classroom: FSC 2300 - 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver

For over a century, design has promised to replace its hyper-focus on stylistic self expression with a set of effective toolkits for democratic problem solving. We’ve made some notable progress towards this goal by engaging in social science methodology, democratizing means of production, and becoming more inclusive of what we consider to be aesthetic expertise.
Participatory design, information design, critical thinking, and design activism have all attempted to contribute to the de-centering of the designer (and his expertise) focusing, instead, on the value of human—meaning non-designer—contributions.
In this talk, I will take the position that designers continue to place themselves at the focal point of design activities despite calls for user and human centred approaches. Using examples of current projects, I will propose a set of principles aimed at foregrounding “literally anything else” rather than “designer” within the design process.