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Bruce Mau and OWP/P: Everyone can be a designer

April 16, 2009


The Third Teacher website designed by OWP/P Architects

The Third Teacher website designed by OWP/P Architects

Recently I introduced Bruce Mau, OWP/P and VS Furniture’s new book, The Third Teacher. I want to quickly reflect on the first (of 79) points that the book makes; “Everyone can be a designer.”

At  this month’s AIGA Board meeting we brainstormed ideas on how to get high-level graphic design studio heads to attend a breakfast with a fabulous and relevant speaker such as Dan and Chip Heath authors of Made to StickJohn Maeda, President of Rhode Island School of Design or David A. Aaker, Vice Chairman of Prophet to name a few. After sending out a few ideas to our Advisory Board we came up with  nada. 

No one was interested in spending a few hours of their busy day listening to any of our suggestions. Instead of a person as the central theme to our ill-fated breakfast, a design topic rose to the top of the list. This topic was a discussion about how to successfully integrate graphic design, pr, advertising, marketing, social-media, twittering, branding and web consulting into profitable future opportunities. Well, if anyone were able to answer that calling they would win the game. Game Over, future design challenge won.

I believe in the future traditional graphic design, and web design for that matter, is going to evolve into a combination of all of the above ingredients. Social-media, like branding was in the 90’s,  is a new design umbrella. I also believe that graphic designers, with an edge for business (this is the key), will be the leaders of this movement. 

So, back to the original point made by The Third Teacher; “Everyone can be a designer.” Yes, this is true, but how you stir  the ingredients together into a clear, beautiful and memorable social-media campaign will win the game. And yes, it is a game that we are thinking about, collaborating on, and sitting in front of our computer screens everyday to ultimately win a better world for our children to grown up in. This book is a great example of the beginnings of that discussion.

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