EvEN thE MOSt CEl EBr AtEd AMErICAN dESIGN SUCCESS St Ory—Appl E—h AS A BrItISh
hANd BEhINd It. lEt’S fACE It, th At CUt E tAG ON yOUr IphONE BOx thAt SAyS “dESIGNEd
By ApplE IN CAlIfOrNIA” COMES WIth A WINk. It rEAlly MEANS “dESIGNEd IN CAlIfOrNIA
UNd Er th E WAt ChfUl EyE Of A Br It t O BE MAdE IN Ch INA.”
mark Pa Yne
As a summer intern at microsoft in 1996, i remember attending a reception at
bill gates’s house and the confusion on his face when i introduced myself as
a designer, not an engineer. what was a designer doing at microsoft? yet today
user-centered design, which emerged largely out of software development in
california in the ’80s, has been embraced by corporate America.
we lead the world in innovation, not in any particular
style of design.
DeSIgn IS An IterAtIve proCeSS of leArnIng,
explorIng, prototypIng, teStIng, AnD refInIng. It’S
InDICAtIve of the AMerICAn wAy. nothIng IS ever
A one-Shot DeAl. thIS IS the lAnD of opportUnIty,
of SeConD or thIrD or even foUrth ChAnCeS.
AMerICAn DeSIgnerS Are Up to the ChAllenge.
miCHelle Berr Yman
Nobody now does it
But the U. S. had better
watch China. It has
figured out that design
matters. And little
Singapore is investing
hugely in design.
design today is all about creating the
experience with a huge emphasis on
making that experience easy to use
We lead the World in hopeful
ans Wers to ne W problems.
you might argue that the “design for consumption” baton is being passed from the
u.s. to china while the “design of systems” might be the big opportunity here.
We lag behind in maintaining our lead.
innovation requires investment,
refinement, and continuous development.
design’s dnA does not come just from the birth
certificate of the designer but rather from a
combination of personal history and cultural baggage.
it is the Design of the
comPlete system thAt
ensures the robustness
of the mArket: i.e., the
Design of the ProDucts,
the Process, AnD the
business moDels As A
This is our momen T. We
have made every o Ther
fac Tor of american
business as efficien T
as possible. no W i T’s
abou T effec Tiveness.
and This is Where
design comes in.
At its best, American design is about
independence and mastery, and taps
into the archetypes of the explorer,
hero, and outlaw.
The emerging problems facing socie Ty and indus Try in general (sus Tainabili Ty,
complexi Ty, e Tc.) will no T be solved wi Th Tradi Tional siloed approaches bu T ins Tead
require cross-func Tional sys Temic Thinking. is This america’s design momen T? only
if we choose To Take a leadership posi Tion in addressing Today’s challenges.
eriC r Yan
AMErICAN dESIGN IS CONSUMEr drIvEN. WhAt
AMErICANS WANt, thEy GEt. UNfOrtUNAtEly,
thEy typICAlly dON’t WANt WhAt WE MAy
CAll “GOOd dESIGN,” pErhApS BECAUSE thEy
dON’t kNOW WhAt It IS. SO thEy GEt “SplAShy”
Or “fEAtUrE-rICh” dESIGN, BECAUSE thAt IS
WhAt thEy lIkE. BUt thIS IS ChANGING fASt.
sometimes we prefer
the quick fix over the long
haul. our culture isn’t
Companies used to come to us asking for
products. More recently, they have been asking
us to help them understand their customers.
It’s almost as if our role has transcended from
design experts to relationship consultants.
We Lead in the audacity
it’s not Al wAys good but tAkes the necessAry risks to drive innovAtion.
i believe AmericAn design succeeds on A form-follo ws-convenience model.
it might not AlwAys be wh At we truly need, but it is very often whAt we wAnt.
exAmples: why does the r Abbit wine corker exist? do we reAlly need
to propose change.
ADAMS AdamsMorioka; AMI T Ne wDealDesign LLC; AN TONELLI Mo MA; BERR YMAN Echovizm; BRO WN Ideo; BU T TON Genesis; CANIA TO Culture
& Commerce, Material Connexion; CARBONE Carbone Smolan Agency; COLLINS Collins; DUST Ideo; DZIERSK Lunar; FABRICANT Frog Design;
GREFÉ AIGA; GUIDO-CLARK LG-C Design; HARDEN Whipsaw; HARRING TON Bruce Mau Design; HELLING Bernhardt Design; INGELS Bjarke
Ingels Group; JAY Wieden+Kennedy; KEELEY Doblin Inc.; LOCKWOOD Design Management Institute; MARTIN University of Toronto; MCCALLION
Chrome Industries; MCMANUS Maya Design; PAYNE Fahrenheit 212; RAZEGHI Northwestern University; ROUX IDSA; RYAN Method Home;
SHEDROFF California College of the Arts; S TO WELL Smart Design; VOSSOUGHI Ziba Design