This post was originally published in December 2015, and I am reintroducing it because of recent conversations with people about the liberal use of the word design in media, the workplace, and on the street. And you might as well include architecture, creative, disruption, and innovation, too, but that willbe the subject of another post.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the way people are using the word design. If anything it demonstrates that people are thinking differently about the way they do their work. With different thoughts will come actions that are a break from the patterns of the past. As more people see the impact that design can have, even more opportunities will emerge.


In the beginning there were designers.

Now there are…

…design strategists, design thinkers, design architects, design engineers, design managers, design leaders, design scientists, graphic designers, user interface designers, user experience designers, service designers, product designers, industrial designers, network designers, systems designers, and design researchers.

They are practicing…

…design strategy, design thinking, design management, design leadership, design science, graphic design, user interface design, user experience design, product design, service design, industrial design, systems design, or design research.

Design has certainly become mainstream over the last decade. How far will it spread and what will be the extent of its impact on business? Design has done well operating on the fringe of society and I am happy that people are now seeing the value that it can create and provide. 

If design has been mainstreamed, then who will be on the edge looking over the horizon to anticipate what is coming next?

The answer is likely not a single designer or design team, but rather a design-empowered organization that is maintaining awareness of both the present and the future. That will be the real legacy of the current design movement.

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