Thinking about the future...of design

I'm affectionately know as The Analog at work. I have an unhealthy obsession with notebooks, stationary, fountain pens and stickers. I'll hold my hands up and say I cannot animate a single thing and what HTML/CSS I do know is from circa 2005!

At this year's OFFSET I attended a talk by the formidable Pip Jamieson from The Dots and her words about the future state of design jobs soothed me (kind of). The talk was titled Automation - and how to survive. For sometime I had been pondering the idea of returning to college and one of the fundamental reasons for this is purely based around automation. How will my job as a designer look in five years time, heck even twelve months time! And with my current role changing to incorporate more consulting/advising and leadership, what kind of additional skills would be relevant and more useful within this context? 

Some of the more valuable points I took away from that talk were that firstly, creativity cannot be automated and design jobs are some of the least likely to be. Sure, there are areas that can be and already are, but what happens when we all end up just being a different version of some logo made by AI? I've always thought that my lack of coding skills was a disadvantage to me but from listening to her talk, I don't think that as much now. Why would I learn to code? I don't want to and a machine will inevitably end up doing that for me right - so why not focus on the areas that are distinctly human; empathy and creativity combined is where great designers will always come to the fore.

So to begin, I've just completed IADT's Level 9 Certificate in Design Thinking, after having decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at formal education again. My last time at college was, well college! While I have always done night classes and online learning, this would be the first time I'd of received a formal qualification since completing my Degree back in 2003 (ohhhh so long ago). 

While I have been fully switched on to the concept of Design Thinking for some time now, for others in the class it was a complete shift in direction but one they thought was extremely valuable for them to understand if they, their careers or company's were to move forward. The wide reaching scope of design thinking was very evident in the vast array of job types that were in the room with myself and only one other being the only 'creatives' there. I equally enjoyed and hated the experience! I enjoyed the subject matter I choose to do my project on, the people that I met and the skills that I have now been able to incorporate in to my own job, but I hated the work/life/college/study balance so am in complete admiration for anyone who takes on a full masters while working full time. You are all rock stars!

Personal Project - Autoimmune Arthritis


In my late twenties I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Psoriatic Arthritis. Through the years I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of this disease, the difficulties and the frustrations of being a patient as well as the positive changes that can come afoot from a holistic approach of the management of the disease. Every individual's disease is as unique as their DNA but a lot of their experiences during their diagnosis is the same. I knew this from my own experience but also from connecting to others through social media.

Below is the innovation proposal I submitted for this assignment. I'd really like to take some more time to develop this idea further so watch this space!