Design and Intention on Adobe Inspire – Core77

I am very privileged to be doing some guest blogging on Adobe’s Inspire site this week, joining a great roster of people writing on the topic of “Intent.” Given that it’s the start of the school year, I plan on talking about intent and education, and my first item went up a little earlier today. Here’s the beating heart of it:

If you give a set of design students a design problem, the first thing they do is design something. They don’t look at the design problem as a problem at all, usually, but rather as a canvas on which to paint “something they like.” You hear them use this expression verbatim, actually, especially when you ask them about what’s not there: “Why didn’t you mock up the design you talked about last week?” I’ll ask. “Well,” they’ll respond, “I didn’t like it.” This exchange has played out so many times in my years of teaching (16) that I find myself getting relatively exasperated…even driven once to retort, “It doesn’t matter what you like! Liking has nothing to do with this!” Now, admittedly, I lost it right then, but what this illustrates (or at least illustrated to me that day) is that very often, a designer’s response to a problem is a personal on–not driven by constraints, or research, or rigor, or objective value. And you’d think this would be a good thing for a creative person, that expression of a personal point of view. But a lot of the time, it can very much get in the way.

Read the whole thing here.


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