Becoming designers

March 25th 2016

Last night we had a great chat with Dylan Field on Design Details (episode will be released next Wednesday) where we came across a topic that is as open-ended as it is exciting. I'll try my best to unpack it...

When I look back at the past ~115+ conversations we've had on Design Details, plus the wealth of chats with friends and just generally having paid attention to the design community, there is a common trend of folks being interested in computers/technology/code long before they realized that design is a thing.† If you reflect on your own personal story, perhaps this rings true; I know it does for me.

Usually the story starts with the momentous day that you clicked View Source. And from there you built small side websites, dove into freelance web dev, and only then began to discover the intricacies and complexities of design as a mechanism to solve problems. And then, as I was, you're hooked forever...

So Dylan got us wondering: what does the future look like where kids learn about design from a young age first? A future where young people admire the design craft and process long before they realize that coding and programming are things? What does a primary school system of the future look like where type and hierarchy and usability are taught and esteemed to the same degree as functions and objects and methods?

As design become more valued, taught, accepted and understood within organizations, perhaps we'll start to soon hear more stories about design being a person's first interest, which only then led to a deeper fascination in computers and technology and programming.*

† Of course, this isn't the only way people become designers

* Some people out there went down this path; it's just not common

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