Articles in #design management

volcano

As there was something important to discus, my colleague took me „to catch some fresh air“: for me it was just fresh air, for him the same, but compounded with the heavy fume of a filterless Gauloises.
Soon after we had reached the terrace, the smoke started to penetrate in small cloudlets from his nose and mouth: the clear predictor of an imminent eruption!

bridge

Amongst mankind’s great achievements you will find great inventions like the wheel, the boat or the water closet. Not hard to imagine where civilization would be without these… Most of these inventions are by now taken for granted: we don’t even bother to imagine how the world would be without them.

control

What a surprise! Just when he was ready to pay the customer took a final glance at the bill and noticed that the prices changed: not the 21 euro for the main dish, but 32,50; not the 9,50 for the dessert, but 15,80… Upon inquiring why the difference, he got a straight answer back – „the kitchen crew needed more time than planned and that’s why the the costs have increased!“

system failure

Our world is a system that contains many sub-systems: the oceans, the forests, the climate – all are complex, fragile and well calibrated organisms with a system character. If one of the parts is not running well, the others will suffer as well: one weak spot will influences the overall performance. Systems can repair themselves, once they are not running well – unless the weak spot is getting larger than the self-curing ability of the parts involved. Then the whole system can collapse: system failures are the most wicked problems around us.

ROI

It were tough times for me, being a designer and being employed at a company that defined it’s reasoning based on financial indications, like turnover, gross margin, return on investment and so on. Eventually also you, as a designer, have to define your reasoning according to such parameters. Unavoidably the question on the ‘return on investment’ (ROI) will pop-up,like “What do I get back for every Euro I spent on design? Tell me, what’s actually the ROI of design?”

clueless

The guys made a depressed impression, or maybe clueless, when I joined them at the bar. They seemed to have all agreed on the fact that something was changing fundamentally – and that it would involve all of them.
But as much as they were in for change, like in all those endless debates with clients and commissioners, the change happening right now was quite something different, and they didn’t had a clue how to deal with the situation: it seemed that their very existence was at stake!

female

They made the appointment together, father and daughter, in order to find out what the bachelor in design management is all about. Apparently she was looking for a study program in which she could follow her affinity towards creativity, whereas Dad seemed to have something in mind, which would lead to a solid job qualification, and would be of real value in the economy as he knows it. That’s why the ‘management’ in the program’s title seemed to ease him a bit and accordingly he was very curious to find out what the heck ‘design’ had to do with it.
If it was their attempt to find a compromise between themselves that brought them in my office I cannot tell, but during our conversation it became clear to me that she was there mainly because of the design, and he only because of the management.

me designer

We all want superstars, supermodels – or an ‘idol’!

Millions of TV-viewers are following seemingly ordinary people in their battle against competition and aim to shine in the limelight – and with that to gain fame and fortune! It seems to be irrelevant what these people actually do, they just have to convince ‘the jury’ with features others don’t have: if you’re not the prettiest, then be the ugliest; if you can’t sing like Pavarotti, why not name the cat food brand by sniffing at your kitties poo? To be at the top of the ladder, it’s essential to be unique and to deliver uniqueness – and it doesn’t matter if the uniqueness doesn‘t add to anything, it just has to add to yourself.

angry designer

It was one of these design events, like many others in Germany: after the panelists had held their speeches, it was time for the Q&A! Finally the audience had the chance to express their opinion, and some immediately took their chance. It was just a question of minutes for the question to be asked – the one on the status of design within companies!

locked out

Desperately but somewhat clueless he was  trying to unlock the entrance door with his id-card – like all of us, he had this plastic card on a practical belt clip – but the door didn’t open. I released him out of this hopeless situation by opening the door with my personal card and let him in. It was quite obvious that he was a colleague from within the company, and as it turned out, he was actually looking for me. “Why are the doors locked for company employees”, he immediately wanted to know, “there is a control right at the main entrance?”