Overlap: The boundaries

Img_21I found this image – from the ID Strategy Conference last week, on the UK Design Council’s RED blog today.

With Overlap starting Friday, it was a natural progression to wondering whether these boundaries between ‘business people’ and ‘designers’ are more artificial than they need to be or, indeed, are, in actual fact.

I mean in one sense, if you look at it, design is business. For if you create an object of beauty, it is art. But if you add one more factor, that is, you create an object of beauty, formed to attract a particular audience, in order to increase sales of that object. Whose function btw is relevant apart from it’s looks (something that does not necessarily factor into a pure piece of art, like a painting say) then design is already an integral part of business. For it answers the question "Why would someone buy this product?" (Well, I’m broadly generalizing here, to make a point about boundaries).

Yes, it can also be argue that ‘creatives’ are more right brain thinkers, empathetic, fuzzier, etc etc while ‘suits’ are more left brain, bottomline driven and analytical. But hasn’t the practice of design already entered the arena where analysis and synthesis of data go hand in hand with formal beauty? Where the bottomline does matter?

And it can also be said that the majority of designers (or creators) prefer to make over the more business minded (profit oriented?) approach of preferring to ‘make it happen’, but these are complementary skillsets. They can coexist in a team.

Mightn’t it be better to simply take those lines away? Even the dotted one? And just say some folks are better at somethings and others have other skillsets? I wonder if boundaries that we draw create their own artificially wrought seperations and differences?

Just ruminating…

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One Response to Overlap: The boundaries

  1. Ralf Beuker says:

    Niti, I agree with you that sticking to assumptions bears the risk of creating self fullfilling prophecies and I would love to see the curves “overlapping” soon!
    On the other hand read my latest posting on the Zollverein School blog on my recent observations at last weeks design management conference in Cologne: http://blog.zollverein-school.de/2006/05/24/exploring-the-unknown-territory/
    Have inspired conversation next weekend 🙂 Ralf.

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