Designit is turning 25! As we pop the bubbly and celebrate the occasion in offices around the world, Mikal Hallstrup, our Founder and Global CEO reflects on where Designit started, where design is heading and what our role as designers may be in another 25 years’ time.
Believe it or not, but Designit is turning 25. We were born on a sunny autumn day, and as a few young designers with dream to change the world with design, we could just feel that we were on the edge of something huge. See, Designit came into existence the same year the World Wide Web was launched. Little did we know at the time, but the so-called digital revolution would shortly take the world by storm, becoming a part of our daily lives in radical and unprecedented new ways. We could have decided to shy away from change and stick to our trade: industrial design. But we knew we had to dive in headfirst and accept that adaptation and change is what design is all about.
Fast forward a quarter of a century and we’re still experiencing our fair share of exciting new challenges. We gained new friends and have crossed into new territories together with Wipro Digital, the amazing technology group we’re now part of. We’re still learning, but we are discovering new ways to dream bigger, grow better and deepen the relationship between design and technology. Despite all that we have experienced, we find ourselves still built of all the good stuff that we dreamt of and believed in those 25 years ago. We’ve stayed good at being open – open to our clients, open to one another and open to new ways of looking at the world we live in. In fact, if we could take just one thing with us into the next 25 years, it would be “stay open”.
So what will we need to stay open to in the future? What is on the horizon, exactly – not just for Designit, but also for design and for our role as designers overall? Already, we can see how design provides solutions to so many of the things we struggle with on a daily basis: waiting times, complicated banking systems and simply figuring out how to live smarter, healthier lives. We can see that design and tech are moving even closer together and that digital continues to change everything that it touches. So this is our moment. If the last 25 years have awakened us to the power of design, then the next 25 years is our chance to insert design where it matters and that is everywhere. We’ve been given the chance to shape tech in ways that make sense and have purpose in our lives – tackling the world’s most important problems that stand in the way of a human-shaped world.
So where will designers be able to make the most impact for a human-shaped future? The following are just a few of the opportunities we believe will be a focus in the next 25 years:
- Designing for the 90%. Teaming up with politicians, NGO’s, the public sector and any other person who is interested in making design accessible and scaling it to liberate human potential. Knowing that design is one of the most powerful forces in improving people’s lives, we can help others understand the unique needs of real people from all walks of life.
- Humanising the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For example: this means having the ambition of not just creating more or better shelters, but figuring out how to turn those shelters into homes. Just imagine, what could happen if the next president or prime minister was a designer? How many global issues on the UN’s list could we eradicate in the most sustainable and user-friendly way possible?
- Bridging the gaps between boundaries. We have already seen that the boundaries are blurring between the physical and the digital (think driverless cars) and the private and public (in healthcare and transportation, for example). Navigating in this unknown territory and creating new and novel solutions will be essential to a smarter and more human-shaped future.
We may be celebrating an anniversary, but we know that there’s a lot of work left to be done. To be a designer is a massive opportunity. Creative cultures are by nature extremely resilient, so we’re pretty sure that we can infiltrate new space without losing our meaning. We’re excited to see how the next 25 years will strengthen the design industry, making us part of something bigger that really needs us.
So what do you think? Where do you think designers will be able to make the most impact in the next 25 years? We’d love to hear from you!