Educating for Evolving Realities

I thought the following quote credited to InSearch’s Tom Hirsch and taken from Peter Lawrence’s Fast Company design column was worth sharing:

“It is really a challenge of translating frames of reference between a designer’s understanding of a problem and opportunity and a business person’s understanding of the same problem and opportunity. This challenge must be better understood and taught in design education, beyond traditional design skills. Design education is woefully behind the curve of what it takes to succeed for a designer in current and fast evolving realities.”

Now I know that Mr. Hirsch wasn’t using the word “realities” in the way I often do. But then again, who knows? Maybe InSearch is starting to get clients asking for designers capable of working across transreality boundaries.

Okay. No. The chances of that are slim to none. But if you’re a product designer, read the column anyway. Product design has changed; obsessing on form alone isn’t enough anymore. As Rita Sue Siegel points out in the article:

Now designers have to be collaborative, persuasive, and strategic. Before these things were nice to have. Now, they’re ‘must haves.’

Yep. And the “nice to have”‘s are going to be…? You got it.