The important feature that design brings is this bridge between the science and the arts. And I don’t think many people understand the power of design to put these two things together.
It doesn’t occur to them that everything is design – every building, everything they touch in the world is designed. The world around us is something that somebody has control over and, perhaps, they could have control over.
Legendary British industrial designer and interaction design pioneer Bill Moggridge, who designed the first laptop and who passed away last year, talks to Debbie Millman about innovation, education, human-centered design, and the future of interaction.
Moggridge was remembered earlier this week at a memorial service in New York City.
New episodes of Design Matters are available on iTunes every week and highlights from the archives can be found on SoundCloud.
[Academia is] all about explicit knowledge. And design, by definition — along with the other arts like poetry or writing — is mostly not so explicit. It’s mostly tacit knowledge. It has to do with people’s intuitions and harnessing the subconscious part of the mind rather than just the conscious. And the result is if you try and couch the respectability of a professor or some form of research grant in terms that are normal for science, then it looks very weak. And so you have to have a different attitude, really, in order to see the strength that it could offer or the value that it could offer. And that’s a big difficulty both in academia and in terms of foundations.
If you think about the structure of the mind, there just seems to be a small amount that is above the water—equivalent to an iceberg—which is the explicit part…And most academic subjects are designed to live in that explicit part that sticks out of the water. If you can find a way to harness, towards a productive goal, the rest of it, the subconscious [understanding], the tacit knowledge, the behavior — just doing it and the intuition — all those, then you can bring in the rest of the iceberg. And that is hugely valuable.
, legendary pioneer and designer of the world’s first laptop, who passed away last week, on design and education
You can’t really, truly expect to explain design unless you explain intelligence.
There is nothing made by human beings that does not involve a design decision somewhere.