Designer is an agent of change

Disruptive Innovation Festival is an online festival of ideas that asks: what if we could redesign everything? The 2017 festival was organised in November but all the content is available online until 4th of January. So go and have a look during the Christmas holidays, there’s lots of interesting stuff!

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Capture from thinkdif instagram

Design as a empowerment was a topic of Joana Casaca Lemos’ keynote. She shared her Phd research in which she created a design tool to empower small business to communicate qualities of sustainability in order to make impact. The design tool is called Communication Assembly.

Joanna sees designer’s role shifting from being the expert on design more into being facilitator or enabler. Nowadays everyone can be a designer, and the difference often is that a professional designer is the one creating the methods and tools so that anyone can be a problem-solver aka everyday designer.

Designer is an agent of change that wants to empower people to make the impact. Joanna claims that designers often share one quality that is ‘care’. Designers are interested in making other people flourish in order to design. With that care also comes an understanding that “everyone is an expert of their own experience”, hence everyone brings value to the process.

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Capture from Joana’s tumblr.

Joanna presents concept of “Design as flourishing” meaning that in order to design social-change that is lasting and effective, it must not be about the designer, the change has to be rooted in empowerment of beneficiaries. In order to do so, Joanna created Communication Assembly that brings together small businesses to create their own story of impact. By giving away the power, the designer can enable the ones affecting by the design to make the change.

The role of designer is changing; everyone wants to be a designer, or at least think like one. Have a look at this article stating that “Our profession is in between ‘utopia and oblivion.’ It will be oblivion if we continue focusing on minor aesthetic problems.”

This blog post was written by,
Emmi Kinnunen
SID student

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