Global Twitter Conversation Proves Designers Don't Get It Global Twitter Conversation Proves Designers Don't Get It

Global Twitter Conversation Proves Designers Don't Get It

by Dylan C. Lathrop

April 19, 2011

Earlier this week, our very own Alissa Walker wrote about One Day for Design, a global discussion about design that took place on Wednesday on Twitter. Presented by the AIGA, the online event was meant to open up a dialogue between designers and the general public, and allow creative folks to discuss current issues in design, with the ultimate goal of understanding how design could shape the future of the world.

The whole thing was pretty pointless.

Part of the problem is the AIGA. Founded in 1914, the AIGA was, in its early days, the preeminent design advocacy group in America. It supported creative professionals—graphic designers, illustrators, art directors—so they could build solid careers in a fast-moving and increasingly crowded field. But in recent years, the benefits of membership—information about events and networking opportunities—have seemed less valuable, especially given the rising dues and myriad other ways designers can connect online.

The identity problem is reflected in its mission statement:

AIGA, the professional association for design, is the premier place for design—to discover it, discuss it, understand it, appreciate it, be inspired by it.

Why were so many of the voices that spoke on behalf of design during this event either overly bitter or overly self-serious? I love being a designer. I love talking about design's role in distilling the world's complexities and making them more transparent. And I love collaborating with people from other fields to work towards common goals.

Being cynical is too easy and being overly serious is not fun, so designers: Why not just be approachable and engaged with the world outside of design? And how about when we talk about the subject, we define it and elevate it rather than falling back on jargon and bad jokes?

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Global Twitter Conversation Proves Designers Don't Get It