We're back to our regular posting schedule, after a brief intermission to take in the new year.
Even though we haven't released any new articles, videos, or podcast episodes, we have been busy during the last few weeks. We just launched our new collection of Offerings: a set of products and services by designers, for designers, to upgrade your creative work and navigate your future with ease.
We previously offered an Advisory Service where we helped students, creatives, and innovators advance on their challenges with personal consulting and coaching. Our Offerings is the new iteration on our advisory practice, with products and consulting services which are specific to the challenges our community cares about.
A Framework for the Future
The start of a new year is always a good time to look towards the future.
It's one thing to dream about the future. And another to have a vision.
What sets visions apart from dreams is that they sit in a framework. Unlike dreams, visions have playbooks and roadmaps. We wish for dreams to come true. But visions, we execute.
How is this going to be the number one company in the world... That's the question I asked myself... As much as I love helping people in the thousands, I'm trying to help them in the billions, right? So, it's like, what's the path there? What's the road there? [...] We'll figure it out slow. You'll figure out slowly, every day.
I can sit here and give you the 6, 12 months, 10 years, like 12-month vision... But to be honest, that's probably just going to change. But I think, what's not going to change is the longer term for me... For me, longer term is a product that's used by billions... It could be vague. It could be like this really vague thing, as long as you have this kind of road map that you're always tinkering with...
What's your next month look like? What's your next year look like? And what's your next 10 years look like? That's all you have to know. And your 10 years could be really vague.
I see people sometimes, planning month by month, or year by year. And I'm like, 'this is stupid, this is gonna change.' So for me, it's always a one month, one year, ten year kind of plan.
Let's follow suit, and lay out the 10-year, 1-year, and 1-month visions for Design Disciplin.
The Next 10 Years
The 10-year plan for Design Disciplin is to become a institution for design knowledge.
Institutions are defined by trust and recognition, accumulated through achievements and value provided. For Design Disciplin, this means constant and meaningful output, captured in the "recording systems" of human knowledge and culture.
I could go on and on with abstract ideals. But it's more fun to look at real examples of what I mean, that you can enjoy today. Here are some people and projects that we look up to:
- Buildspace is a resource and platform for learning how to create with the latest technologies, by shipping meaningful products. While there are countless resources for technical learners, the community and experience design of Buildspace is on a whole new level.
- Gary Hustwit has produced some of the best documentaries ever made on design and culture. If you enjoy Design Disciplin, you'll enjoy his work even more.
- Netflix's totally binge- and rewatch-worthy Abstract has possibly done more than any other contemporary media to introduce and promote the design professions.
- Boutique design-focused publishers like Lars Müller, Niggli, and Unit Editions, and B42 are responsible for so many of the books I keep by my side to fuel my design practice.
- Jack Butcher's Visualize Value has repeatedly proven that the economic possibilities available to designers and digital builders are beyond what we imagine.
- Chris Do's The Futur is on an ambitious mission to help one billion people achieve fulfillment through design and entrepreneurship – arguably the #1 design education outlet on the internet.
I like to point to the examples above, when I'm asked to explain what Design Disciplin aims to be. Check them out.
Design Disciplin in 2023
At heart, Design Disciplin is about learning and championing design as a whole: a place for conversations between graphic design, industrial design, experience design, architecture, art, and more.
But in the early days of a project like this, with limited resources and traction, it's a dangerous thing to spread too thin. Growth comes from focus: a laser, not a lightbulb.
This year, we focus on being valuable to a specific set of design professionals – in particular, those of us dealing with:
- Technology, innovation, and experience design
- Digital products, user interfaces, and digital graphics
- Design entrepreneurship and newly-possible business models
- Increasing visual design competences among non-visual designers and design leaders – my opinions on the divide between visual and strategic design were well-received, and over this year we will offer more resource to make visual design competence more accessible to our strategically-inclined colleagues.
- What comes after human-centered design, moving to humanity-centered thinking and beyond – see our interview with Ron Wakkary, one of the leading scholars in this field.
- Newly-possible business models for design services – check out our roundup of "decentralized" design businesses, and a few words on what Web3 might offer to designers.
- Promoting Research through Design, where creative design methods are repurposed as knowledge-creating research methods, towards applications in commercial work.
We will be publishing on these topics, experimenting with new editorial formats, and creating new kinds of resources to help our audience move forward.
Next Month on Design Disciplin
We're very excited about what's coming soon: Next week, we release our first product.
Over the last few months, we have built a digital tool and resource library to help designers navigate different worlds in the multiverse of design.
The project was informed by my personal experiences and struggles. I overhauled my own design career more than once: moving between freelancing, academia, and recently, entrepreneurship and the creator economy. These transitions were challenging. The choice of being an employee, freelancer, or founder is not simply doing the same work in different clothes. It means to immerse yourself in different ecosystems, resources, and communities – different worlds in a multiverse.
Our upcoming product will help designers choose their world and excel in it. We focused where design meets technology, offering the most value for UX, UI, web, interaction, and digital product designers. But we hope that designers and adventurers from many walks of life will find inspiration in it.
Stay tuned for the launch of our new product, as well as upcoming resources, interviews, and collaborations.