“In a changing world everyone designs: each individual person and each collective subject, from enterprises to institutions, from communities to cities and regions, must define and enhance a life project” says Manzini. He makes therefore a distinction between diffuse design (performed by everybody) and expert design (performed by those who have been trained as designers).
Even though he refers to the specific field of social innovation, this is also relatable to the field of product design and information architecture. As expert designers and information architects we are asked to build products and make sense of information in a context that is often characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. What makes our approach different from the diffuse design and what is our added value in the sense-making and problem solving? What is the set of skills that we will need to stay relevant in these times?
H.O.P.E. is the perfect acronym for the 4 key guiding principles and skills that I believe make us relevant in these times: Hindrance: When asked to ‘move fast and break things’ we should be the element of resistance, delay, or obstruction. Openness: Even if, as human beings, we’re inherently biased, we should learn to recognize, acknowledge and overcome our biases. Polyphony: We should include and represent all voices and all driving forces in the complex ecosystem of our product or solution. Elegance: Elegance comes from the Latin ‘Eligere’, which means to choose, to select. We should keep training our ability to select the most appropriate, simple and effective solution among the options that generate from the creative process. In this talk I will go through these different principles and explain their relevance and how we can apply them in our daily practice.