There is a connective path of thinking within design. Whether designing a digital app, a responsive website, a print campaign, a modern home set in the desert, constructing a painting, or leading a team meeting – all of these things are designed. In fact, most every thing we do in life is designed to some extent – from the way we dress, to how we communicate with one another, to the photos we post to our social media accounts. Design is everywhere. As a designer, I believe that designers develop a different sense of how to approach many various things in life based on the continued success and failure of being a practitioner.

Over time, a designer becomes aware of this sense in their work and it then becomes second nature to their existence. This process then bleeds into all areas of a designer’s life and the process of strategic design thinking is heightened from how one drive’s their car, to how we scan and order food from a restaurant menu. Time and thinking about things with a designer’s outlook develops over time, adjusts/shifts and heightens itself to become an elevated form of strategic thinking, decision making and process evaluation in all aspects of life.

This is the result of years being a practitioner in a field(s) of work that forces the mind to think heavily about, not just the outcome of the work, but the process in which we arrive at that outcome.

But, designers are more than just practitioners. Designers are cultural thought leaders. Design moves us forward. As we continue to create more tools and accessibility for others to create, the discipline of design becomes a sacred place to advocate for the craft, the fundamentals, and the true mastery of creating things in a way that embrace virtuous aesthetics.

Designers are caught in an uncomfortable place. But like all things, discomfort causes growth.

There is an oscillation of holding on to the craft of our predecessors, and finding new meaning of design within our advancing society.

Design must focus on the holistic view of culture and society outside of the individual craft. The autonomous thinking of a multidisciplinary human where all creativity begins to connect. An approach to advancing our mindfulness as creative leaders. To break through from being viewed as a practitioner, and truly leading the minds of where society is to go from here.