Hey, RED Design is on the phone

“A call to action.” RED is a UK firm practicing interdisciplinary, human centered design. Recently, for the UK design council, they’ve made a series of proposals including a new design practice, Transformation Design. I’m very excited about design “on the cusp of a new phase.”

Transformation Design has evolved at a time of shifts; cultural shifts, climate changes, “user revolution” (ordinary people have taken design into their own hands). It calls for a new design structure.

This summer I was working on an interdisciplinary team to build a curriculum for a five week interdisciplinary project between our ID class, the graduates and multimedia we’re currently working in. We meet with Neil Kleinman for conversations on design. I don’t know if he’d read RED’s call to action, or if it had been published yet, but he was talking about similar shifts in design. Both Kleinman and RED mentioned the old linear design process of breaking problems down into a “smaller and smaller chunks” to a silo structure. This new structure is hierarchical but non-linear. Complex problems can’t be solved one way, they need to be viewed/tackled from many angles/levels.

These new ideas were thoughts I’d had in passing but never dwelled on them. The conversations from this summer and in reading Transformation Design, have really resonated with me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all and trying to figure out how to apply it to my future work, in school and into professional practice.


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