Design as Change Agent

"...we shape [design] our buildings; thereafter they shape us.“                                    Winston Churchill 

But it is more than our buildings; we shape [design] our products, our places, and the systems on which they operate;  in turn, they shape us.

Since our beginning, we, like other creatures, have been in a dialogue, or perhaps a dance, of change that continues.  At some point in our history our presence became felt as we passed a threshold or “tipping point,” exceeding and overwhelming the capacity of the planet, or at least the parts of the planet, that we inhabit, to self-heal – to sustain.

Adaptation to our modified landscape has resulted in further modification of ourselves. We have contributed to our own evolution through the process. We are, in many ways, a product of our own making.

We have become designers, creating the intended and the unintended consequences by “design” and by “default”.It is time to accelerate the "change" we need to see in the world.

The debates are over and the time to respond, all but gone. The assumptions about the forces we face have become situational realities. We have gone from predicting “the perfect storm” to sailing in it…

The current era is defined by a confluence of changes that are stressing our natural environment, our social fabric and our economic paradigm. The speed, scale and the scope of these changes requires an integrated and well-considered response that creates real value while preserving and building capital at every level; the natural, the social, the physical, and the economic.

Given the limited capital available, that, today, is all too obvious, a focused and informed investment in “Radical Innovation” is critical.  Radical Innovations are both the technical and social innovations that revisit the core issues. They are not modifications of the current models based on a "reluctant incrementalism" born of compliance and/or patronizing behavior.

Radical Innovations can generate a multi-faceted value proposition while honoring environmental integrity, respecting people and generating real wealth - in that order.

The targets we select and the innovations we pursue need to be further qualified by their potential to restore earth systems, mitigate damage to these systems and/or adapt to anticipated changes - in that order...

The new winners will be the "radical innovators". They will win because their solutions will be self-replicating, self-organizing, self-correcting and potentially restorative. Perhaps most importantly, they will be compelling!

Good Design (Responsible Design) can facilitate Radical Innovation; exploring optimal outcomes, while creating structures for reduction to practice and long term support and continuity.