University Alliance > Blog > The transformational role of design

The transformational role of design

Ann Priest
Published on April 15, 2014

In a world where challenge is seemingly everywhere and expectations higher than ever before, the importance of design to transform, to add value and to enhance the usefulness of a product, service or problem solving activity is more important than ever.

Connectivity through design

Design, design ‘thinking’ and design processes have the potential to promote integration of approaches. Design plays a major role in the blending of ideas, ambitions and needs in specific contexts. Design can provide connectivity, that is, to engage with the scientific, technical and human dimensions of innovation. Design becomes then an organisation resource to improve the goods and services that we use and the quality of the lives we lead.

 

Image by tanakawho

Image by tanakawho

Around the world industry and governments are recognising the potential for design to facilitate change, enhance innovation and deliver economic value. This is at a time when enlightened communities are also tackling local and social needs by harnessing and directing the creativity of stakeholders.

So design affords us opportunity.  In the UK now, there is the opportunity to relook and recognize the value of creativity in education at every level. We need to look further than the so-called ‘creative industries’ for evidence of where and how creativity can deliver economic value. Every part of our lives, from places we live in, to services we need, to the products we use and the clothes we wear can be made better, more useful and indeed transformed by good design.

Creativity in schools

But while the UK excels in design and design education, political and popular understanding of the value of design remains poor. Creative education in schools is in the doldrums; the potential for design is ill understood and often limited to aesthetics.

We can take this opportunity now and develop creative education in schools.

We can reconsider the value and respect we afford to creative education in further and higher education.

We can encourage boards to embrace the power of design thinking and the power of connectivity.

And we can reap the rewards of the transformational power of creativity and opportunity.

Connecting Research and Growth

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