female

They made the appointment together, father and daughter, in order to find out what the bachelor in design management is all about. Apparently she was looking for a study program in which she could follow her affinity towards creativity, whereas dad seemed to have something in mind, which would lead to a solid job qualification, and would be of real value in the economy as he knows it. That’s why the ‘management’ in the program’s title seemed to ease him a bit and accordingly he was very curious to find out what the heck ‘design’ had to do with it.
If it was their attempt to find a compromise between themselves that brought them in my office I cannot tell, but during our conversation, it became clear to me that she was there mainly because of the design, and he only because of the management.

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culture mix

When I was a kid they dropped people on the moon for the first time ever, and I witnessed it all live on b&w television. I also witnessed that they dropped bombs on people living in sheds, in countries far away and that students, because of that, were revolting and were throwing stones at the police. Disturbing pictures, but also strong visions of a better society, with technology that would solve all problems and that seem to imply a brighter future lying ahead. At the end of the ’60s, the future only could be better than the current present!

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leadership

Do you have leadership skills? If not, it’s going to be tough in future, because next to professional specialists (like electricians and plumbers) it is ‘leaders’ the economy is after! In view of the many, many wicked problems facing us, it takes true leaders to guide us into a better future. more…

me designer

We all want superstars, supermodels – or an ‘idol’!

Millions of TV-viewers are following seemingly ordinary people in their battle against competition and aim to shine in the limelight – and with that to gain fame and fortune! It seems to be irrelevant what these people actually do, they just have to convince ‘the jury’ with features others don’t have: if you’re not the prettiest, then be the ugliest; if you can’t sing like Pavarotti, why not name the cat food brand by sniffing at your kitties poo? To be at the top of the ladder, it’s essential to be unique and to deliver uniqueness – and it doesn’t matter if the uniqueness doesn‘t add to anything, it just has to add to yourself. more…

lesson learned

How great that we have the designer, who is able to view the issue from another angle, and by that can generate new and relevant insights, isn’t it?

True, not only designers can do that – it just needs a design thinking, which is driven by curiosity and empathy and wants to improve the existing for the better – and frankly this can be done by all of us, in principle. But what you have to bring along for the ‘better’ truly will be perceived as such by others, is a creative and emphatic mind, which is able to envision how this ‘better’ will take shape and have the desired impact on others. This poses such a beautiful mind is not within everyone’s reach… more…

design focus

It was a terrifying sight: a clutter of cables, tubes and pipes was hanging down from the ceiling and gave the scenery the impression of a torture chamber, just like you know from these old b&w horror movies – hello from Dr Frankenstein!

Somehow it seemed that the grim atmosphere had no influence on the personnel working there: they were completely focussed on preparing the patient for an intervention. As I had still to learn: with ‘the patient’ they were referring to the medical case, and not necessarily to the person himself – a subtle but crucial difference. more…

angry designer

It was one of these design events, like many others in Germany: after the panellists had held their speeches, it was time for the Q&A! Finally, the audience had the chance to express their opinion, and some immediately took their chance. It was just a question of minutes for the question to be asked – the one on the status of design within companies! more…

locked out

Desperately but somewhat clueless he was trying to unlock the entrance door with his id-card – like all of us, he had this plastic card on a practical belt clip – but the door didn’t open. I released him out of this hopeless situation by opening the door with my personal card and let him in. It was quite obvious that he was a colleague from within the company, and as it turned out, he was actually looking for me. “Why are the doors locked for company employees”, he immediately wanted to know, “there is a control right at the main entrance?” more…

expensive

Now, after many years of collaboration, I can say for sure that he’s truly favourably impressed: by design, and by designers. I would even assume that he secretly admires us, the designers.

His initially reserved and rejective stance against any member of the ‘design-species’ was resulting from, what I believe, the awareness that he could never do, what designers do, but designers might be able to do, what he’s doing – at least if they wanted to… and luckily enough, they didn’t! more…

conviction

It’s the time of the year so I was strolling the local Christmas market lately and passed by a craftsman who was weaving a basket. Somehow I was instantly impressed and stood still, starting to observe the activity of the basket-maker: his movements were swift and confident and he was even able to have a conversation with other observers, whilst craft-fully weaving this basket. All of a sudden he paused – he was about halfway finished with his piece – as if he felt something was not right: and indeed, the basketwork at the bottom had a different colour as the one at the top, also the braid seemed thinner. So he pulled all apart and started over. Upon which an old lady couldn’t resist and mention how pity this was and that she’d never noticed – and that he was almost finished anyway. “Dear Madam, he replied, you have to this work with conviction!” Baskets, he added, one should only sell, if they’re tip-top. “If you can improve, you have to improve, even if it means to start all over. You cant sell inferior crap!” he finished off in a truly convincing manner and continued weaving. The older lady patiently waited till he was done and then bought the basket. more…