Design is a power – underestimated by designers and ignored or exploited by others. Our collective failure to recognise the extents of power we yield as designers has ‘hollowed out’ architectural culture.
I see images of these ‘stramps’ and others like them do the rounds on social media, accompanied with loads of praising comments like ‘this is so good for wheelchair users’ and ‘this is how you do great accessible design’. The problem is: it isn’t, and it isn’t.
A UX Design process is not a new method for designing, well, anything. Nor is stealing vocab and concepts from other industries, or even using those same principles for our built environment.
Everyone loves architecture right? Design communication is a mindset more than any skill or tool. And our tools include much more than words and diagrams.
Our creative work is now thoroughly multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary. The ‘generalist’ designer today is best placed for this next step in creating our built environment, as we spend our education and careers listening and searching without restrictions of specialisation. With adaptive process and communication tools, we are the future architects of environments in any reality.
Using the ‘User’
As designers and architects, we express ideas via various languages. When designing, ‘user’ is a term that’s always left me uncomfortable. Let’s change it.