Title Envy

We Love the recent article from It’s Nice That: “Designers are from Mars, Consumers Want Snickers: Let’s stand up for the value we create.” The article caught my eye because the title kind of suits my dissertation, however is much more clever and catchy than, “Ubiquitous Libidinal Infrastructures of Urbanism.” I was immediately envious.

In short, the article suggests that designers need “to work harder to prove its worth.” 

I agree 110% that designers and architects need speak up about the value they create!! So do poets, artists, musicians, mothers and caregivers. But, designers are some of the hardest working people I know. I’m not sure if they can work any harder. They may be able to work smarter, and of course, I believe the missing link has to to with Rhetoric and Communication.

Designers, a lot of them anyway, lack audience awareness. There are currently not enough opportunities in architectural education for students to engage with diverse audiences. Architecture students are habituated to talk about their value only to other’s who understand it (fellow students, critics and teachers). It is hard the make one’s design ideas matter to someone who does not understand complicated vocabulary about geometries or spatial joints, for example. But, if a student has been coached to think about communication at each stage of the design process, from the inceptive moment, to the development of ideas ant through various instances of the delivery of those ideas, then they will be better equipped to integrate this thinking into their process and practice. They might become forces for change.

I’m biased because I love language. I also love poetry, and arguing both sides of an issue until I understand it more deeply. Yet, I believe our educational system needs to teach how to creatively communicate with non-designers/makers of all kinds. We need to emphasize communication in general. We need to know what is being taught in English101, and reinforce those ideas in the classroom. Universities offer writing courses specific to business, science and technology… so why not design?!

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