The essential quality of design is creativity the

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The essential quality of design is creativity: the capacity for predicting what technology will make possible and what people will desire and need a year or two ahead. As
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Swift wrote: Vision is the art of seeing things invisible, and the invisible future will be predicted by designers who have been trained to make and then test creative hypotheses. For designers to work effectively, they need the sympathetic understanding of management. I am sure that the new breed of managers will provide the oyster shell in which designers can be the essential irritant. Around 1881, when Joseph Wharton established his now world-renowned business school, Queen Victoria wrote: Beware of artists, they mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous. Designers are concerned only with the practical arts, and the danger is thus diminished, but they are amongst those who are willing to accept a responsibility for the look and feel of our environment. And, if this involves action which disturbs those who wish only to conserve the social and environmental patterns of the past, then Queen Victoria was right and shall continue to be so. But we are no longer isolated. The council of the Confederation of British Industries has recently accepted a report from one of its committees which reads: A company, like a natural person, must be recognized as having functions, duties and moral obligations that go beyond the pursuit of profit and the specific requirements The Designer and Manager Syndrome 73 of legislation profit alone is not the whole of the matter. The moral obligation includes a respect for our man-made environment and the elements of which it is comprised. The new generation of business executives and their natural allies the designers, can ensure that the industries under their control will improve the physical world and not degrade it. As Camillo Olivetti said more than 50 years ago: A good business is one which also makes money. I have so far talked about design as though it were a straightforward respectable activity undertaken by men and women who differ only in their technical knowledge and specialization from the business executives with whom they must collaborate. Viewed from one position this is an accurate image of the designer s persona. When design is an ordering process that changes the inventors or development engineers lash-up into a marketable product, or concerns itself with industrial or civic tidiness and good manners, it does not differ greatly from any other professional occupation. But this is only one facet of design which has achieved exaggerated importance in our society, because only those specifically trained to see are able to perceive the physical world and suggest how it might be improved. While the world remains sick, all who are not motivated solely by greed must combine to construct crutches so that society can continue to exist while it heals itself. Our democratic societies are, however, not monolithic. They provide opportunities for immediate manifestations of the human
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