I have always been fascinated by ideas, as glimpses into alternative futures and the minds of the people who imagine them. Design is the magical process that turns ideas into actions and - sometimes - brings them into reality.
My life in design started in fashion where I learnt how to generate ideas quickly, to respect materials and to manage their individual characteristics and personalities. The really interesting elements were anticipating the consumer context and what happens when we put clothes on, how they make us feel, move and are ‘seen’ in the world. I thought I was learning how to design clothes, when really it was about designing the feelings associated with wearing the clothes, the experience of ideas in action.
Working out how we design and the potential of its impact, is the thread that runs through my research, teaching and design practice. By researching into the potential of design knowledge in a knowledge age and then design for an ageing population, I explored the fundamental processes of design and the designer in action, from the tangible to the tacit and the power of unconscious bias to shape design responses. These insights drive my research, design and teaching practice across a range of disciplines at CSM and in consultancy from craft communities to businesses around the world.
What’s brilliant about design is that it is a human based, generative process that is transferable and transformative. In learning how to design, we too are transformed by the process. This is the ‘magic’ at the heart of the design process. This is the ‘design’ I was taught, admire and aim to practice.
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