Emerging and current design practitioner roles

  • The Community Enabler, The Visionary Pragmatist, The Trans-Disciplinary Integrator, The Social Entrepreneur, The Practicing Researcher, The Long-Term Strategist, The Design Management Thinker, The Unsolicited Architect
  • Calls for a new kind of designer stretch back to the middle of the 20th century, most famously in Buckminster Fuller’s description of a “synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.” [1] A role that Bruce Mau has more recently embraced in the establishment of his Institute Without Boundaries, acknowledging that the complexity of today’s problems would necessitate these roles to be taken up by the “collective intelligence of a team”. [2] MOMA curator of design Paola Antonelli calls for designers to adopt the role of “society’s new pragmatic intellectuals … changing from form giver to fundamental interpreter of an extraordinarily dynamic reality.” [3] John Thackara similarly calls for designers to “evolve from being the individual authors of objects or buildings, to being the facilitators of change among large groups of people.” [4](tags: designfuturescareerprofessionpractice)

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