We were pleased to welcome Brian Collins, a visionary leader in design, as the Shannon Luminary lecturer on January 23rd. In his lecture, “The future of design: What we desire”, Collins described the role of design as a way to bring human benefit to a rapidly changing world, more fully described in his abstract below.
We are entering a world where all points are colliding and evolving.
Digital into physical.
Consumer into producer.
Human into machine.
Disciplines that were once siloed are now integrating. And the acceleration of change is breathtaking, quickly transfiguring the worlds of research and technological innovation.
But none of this shifts us toward a better world unless these changes are synthesized into tools and services that benefit people.
That synthesis is design.
Design sits between the sciences and the humanities as one of the three traditions of inquiry. The sciences ask, "What is true?" Scientists search for facts through the measurable and testable. The humanities ask, "What matters?" Artists, musicians, writers, philosophers find meaning through the critical and speculative. Design asks, "What is desired?" Designers make the ideal concrete through the integration of aesthetics (what we want), ethics (what should be), and reason (what must be).
Design is the process of turning change into human benefit.
Design, in this light, is hope made visible.
This talk will therefore seek to depict how we design a hopeful vision for the future.
Over his career, Collins has won every major creative award, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Creativity, Fortune, Rolling Stone, Creative Review, Graphis, NBC, ABC, and Fast Company, which named him one of the five American Masters of Design.