Forget Branding

Event: The Future of Design
Location: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 09.05.07
Speakers: Etienne Fang — Strategic Director, Cultural Insights Studio, Cheskin; Rie Norregaard — Creative Director, Frog Design; Elizabeth Pastor — Co-founder, NextDesign Leadership Institute & Co-founder, Humantific; Leslie Wellott — The Insight Group, Imagination
Moderator: Chee Pearlman — Director, Chee Company
Organizer: Media Bistro

Architecture is often product-driven, and architects do not always think about enriching their designs by engaging employees and clients. As design becomes more complex, collaboration and communication are increasing important within and outside of the workplace. A panel focusing on trends in graphic and information design pointed out changes silently happening within architecture offices as well.

Articulating the thought process behind design is what will solve problems, stated Ettiene Fang, strategic director of the Cultural Insights Studio at Cheskin. Architects have long realized the lure of a thick marker sketch in a client meeting — but what about the idea of letting the client behind the veil? “Design has shifted from being a craft to design-oriented thinking” focused on providing problem-solving skills and a perspective on design, according to panelist Leslie Wellott of The Insight Group. When it comes to finding solutions, cross-collaboration with other disciplines is critical.

Though moderator Chee Pearlman, director of Chee Company, stated, “design is no longer a field about authorship,” architects are somewhat late to the game as dozens of name-brand buildings are popping up all over town. When it comes to communication and marketing, architects may want to look toward other allied professions for ways to effectively leverage design collaboration.