Design has a growing role in each of our daily lives, and is becoming an important job skill to help stay ahead of the curve. In the 20th century we saw the rising of the Industrial and Information Ages, but as we draw closer to the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we are in the midst of the Conceptual Age. This new era brings focus to design and individuality. These are two elements can determine how consumers make decisions, including the new chair they buy for their home or the font they choose to use in their next email.
In his newly revised book A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink, the bestselling author of Free Agent Nation, discusses how in an age of abundance it is more important than ever to nurture creativity, as design is becoming necessary in all walks of life.
“The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers,” says Pink in his introduction. “But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. The people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” But what is design, and how is it going to change the future?
According to Fernando Jaeger, one of the core designers behind Brastilo’s collection of home furnishings, “Design is the synthesis, the pure forms, taking risks, the use of colors, all without forgetting the function that was projected.” His words are very much in-line with Pink’s ideas. If you can create a product that is not only functional, but also brings a certain level of beauty and sophistication to the norm, then you’ve just made a better product that people will gravitate towards.
In this new era of high-concept thinking Pink leaves us with several questions to ponder, but one sticks out in my mind. Whether you’re a designer who continuously uses their creativity or a knowledge worker (i.e. lawyer, accountant) ask yourself…“are you offering something that satisfies the desires of an abundant age?” If you answer yes, then you will thrive and rule the Conceptual Age of new ideas, fresh concepts and better, bolder designs.