If you are in LinkedIn: We-need-you-support- to-early-career-researchers-from-erik-bohemia
For the past six years, Marcus Engman has successfully made Ikea weird.
As the company’s head of design, he spearheaded artistic collaborations on tropical furniture and L.A.-inspired skateboards to push the reserved Swedish furniture giant out of its minimalist comfort zone. But Engman recently left Ikea to start a company of his own called Skewed Productions, as a partner of the design firm Doberman. Think of Skewed as a hybrid of design studio and ad agency–its goal is to create marketing moments for companies through product design itself. Instead of spending money on ad buys, Engman wants to teach companies to market themselves through their design.
“I want to show there’s an alternative to marketing, which is actually design,” says Engman. “And if you work with design and communications in the right way, that would be the best kind of marketing, without buying media.”
His plan makes some sense. In a consumer-obsessive world, design has become a major selling point. Consumers study everything from Kickstarter campaigns built upon the personal journeys of inventors to Apple’s Jony Ive-narrated iPhone videos to hear the intent and motivation behind the products we buy.“More and more people are interested in how things are made,” says Engman. “I believe in transparency–being more transparent in design you do–that attracts interest and over time it builds interest in the project.”
But for companies that don’t necessarily “get” design–whether that’s individual product development, or how to marry a whole line of products into one grounding thesis that can define a brand–Engman sees an opportunity for flexible, design-oriented people to help out in a hands-on consulting and development capacity. “It’s one ballgame in fashion,” he says, “and a completely different one in how we work in furniture, for instance.”
[Screenshot: Skewed Productions]
Skewed Productions is a one-man show. Before Ikea, Engman has had his own agency with 30 employees under him. Now, he plans to hire out collaborators from his network on a per-project basis. He argues that this new model will be more equitable for everyone involved, because he plans to share profits with his team, rather than paying out stock salaries. And it will allow him to take on projects more flexibly, since his crew can always be in flux. While he cautions me that Skewed is only four days into existence, and he’s just building a client roster, he’d like to have a mix of large companies and small startup clients to keep work varied.
As for his legacy, and why it was time to leave Ikea? “I think there comes a time when you feel you want to do something else. I’m not a maintainer guy. I’m a startup guy. And I was put there to make a lot of changes. And we made a lot,” he says. “Working at a large company, it’s about leading by strategy and finding new partners. I wanted to, not go backwards, but be even closer to the design, to be able to do design myself again.”
The International Center for Semiotic Sciences Umberto Eco (University of Urbino) organizes a series of colloquia, seminars and lectures on semiotic theory and practices.
One of them is co-organized by PROJEKT Lab (University of Nimes), the title is: When is Design .
Visit PROJEKT Lab Resources – Design / French / English
Download the kit at http://iotservicekit.com
From the Design Portal editor´s: Writing from Brazil, where the Industrial Design — Product Design profession is not acknowledge formally by the Goverment. Designers have decades figthing to make it a formal profession. In addition, this process take us to a second issue, some designers are supporting the Government, “You need a Design University Diploma to be a designer”. On the other hand, designers are also against saying that “What makes a good designer is no the University, we are closing the doors to all the designers that don´t have a formal course, and they are great too”.
This article speak to those:
- who didn´t have the opportunity to go to a design school.
- professionals from other fields, that suddenly are working with design and need to honey their skills and knowledge and don´t have the time to go back to school.
- who want to be a design professional and don´t have the financial resources to pay a University
- who can pay the University but are thinking if it´s worthwile to go to a 4 years Design Course or take short design courses instead
- Also the article is very valuable for designers too!
The question is “Does a Design University course make you a designer?
My answer is yes and no. Let me explain with more detail.
Why I need a Design University course to be a Designer?
Design is getting more and more complex by the day. It´s no longer only industrial — product and graphic design, it´s now UX, UI, webdesign, apps-design, also going 3D and generative design and its intersection with engineering, nanotechnology, biotechnology. With its inherent complexity alone, the needs are growing exponentially also, it´s not only local anymore, it´s going global, such as a designer in the US that wants to solve health, housing issues in Africa.
Going back to the question above, the Design University is very important because of only one reason:
- The University will show you that Design is a complex, ciclical process, where the final design output took a lot of thinking, sketching, validation and prototyping. In other words, there is a whole universe behind your proposal. It wil show you that good design always have a great, consistent and sistematic basement behind, a lot of research and brain-hours to build the brief and to comply with all the requirements before a single line in the sheet. You need to know the “WHY” of every visible and invisible detail of your design. The key is the design process and all is behind it. Moreover, in 4 years at the Design Course you are learning the backstages of the Design, the process, Design Thinking, you are learning to understand and think like a designer. The topics, the design behind the design is more important. Design is context, research and a consistent basement as a result of a lot of effort and thinking and the University will provide you this global view of design in a sistematic way with a design program that has evolved over the time and was thought and developed focusing in molding a design professional.
Why I don´t need a Design Course?
Let´s say that you are a great designer with no Design Course or a professional from other field working now with design. Let me explain you why you don´t need a Design Course:
- In today´s world knowledge is open and accessible to all. You don´t need a 4 years design course to learn topics like Design Theory, Design History, Design Methodology, Ergonomics, Semiotics, what I called “Front-Design”. You can learn it online with great courses like the MIT OCW. You don´t need a University anymore for this kind of “design knowledge”.
- If you are a “doer” designer, I mean, with no interest in the academic environment, research or teaching, you definitely don´t need a Diploma. The Diploma is very important to those who want to pursuit a academic career with Master´s and PHD degrees ahead. If it´s not your case, don´t bother.
You don´t have the time or the resources to go back to school, or you are already a untraining designer with good experience and portfolio?
My advice: Focus in the “back-design” issues to be a better “design professional” — the creative process, innovation, design thinking because:
Its not the end, it´s the journey that matters.
THE RIGHT JOURNEY WILL GIVE THE RIGHT DESIGN
THE WRONG JOURNEY WILL GIVE YOU THE WRONG DESIGN!
Article from Medium: @tokatherineliu at https://medium.com/facebook-design/a-diy-design-education-218a4a2d340f#.ojen3eson
“Higher education for the design professions – designers, architects and engineers – has been combining traditional disciplines of research and design in new ways, into what is now known as design research. As a discipline in its own right, design research is still quite young, and the design professions need a theory of science that takes their specific character into account, thus contributing to their self-image, and locating them in the greater landscape of research. Using philosophically oriented conceptual analysis I develop a system of basic concepts as elements of such a theory of science for the design professions. The concepts of design, research and design research are analysed, clarified and coordinated, in relation to concepts such as knowledge, theory and practice. At the same time I propose a precise, yet intuitive, terminology that may be shared and foster cross-disciplinary understanding and communication among the design professions, and which each of them can expand for purposes of its own.”
Institut for Bygningskunst & Design / Department of Architecture & Design
Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, Designskolen / The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design