Event highlights

Design is transformative Part 1

08 Aug 2013  •  7 min read  •  (Part 1 of 2)

On 1 Aug at the URA Centre, an international panel of speakers (in Singapore for the Juror’s Session of the President’s Design Award 2013) addressed a full-house public audience, the transformative role of design. In this first of a two-part series, we highlight the speakers’ salient quotes.

Dick Powell
Co-founder, Seymourpowell (UK)

On observation:
“By observing people, we can get small insights. From small insights, we get little ideas. From little ideas, we get innovative products.”

On affecting business change:
“To affect real change in business, you have to re-wire the business or you have to look at it from a completely different perspective. A big part of the designer’s role is engineering change within the client.”

On asking ‘why not?’
“Business, as a rule, asks the question: ‘why?’, so accountants look at returns on investment, marketing does focus groups, everything is dedicated to answering the question ‘why?’. But the designer’s job is to ask the question: ‘why not?’”

Shashi Caan
Founding Principal, The Collective (USA/UK)

On re-thinking, re-doing
"Design, by nature, is transformative. To design is to re-think, to re-do.”

On being self-analytical
“Design is all about people. We think about behaviour, we think about emotion, we think about experience. We think about what are we doing, why are we doing it and what does it mean, how does it shapes us, how does it shapes others.”

On knowing ourselves
“For me personally, it’s all about ‘us’. If we can understand ‘us’, chances are, in a globally shrinking world today, I can understand others and we can do things better.”

On decision today affecting tomorrow
“We don’t know what will happen 20 years from now, but every decision we make is leading to that, every decision is taking us to a new place.”

Next week: Our favourite quotes from Brandon Gien and Lisa Switkin.

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