while visiting ideo tokyo, i began to wrap my head around this:
the word ‘designer’ commands no niche, offers no identity to the bearer, and conveys little meaning to a client.
(this is probably why we designers routinely need to prepare dozens of slides to convey our value to prospective-clients, and also why we keep changing our mission-statements whenever buzz-words change.)
please don’t get me wrong:
design is of critical importance to the world, but it may also be an ‘emergent phenomenon’ rather than an ‘intentional activity’. to produce good design, we need to operate as researchers, engineers, writers, or somethings else , but labelling ourselves as ‘designers’ may not be a useful thing to do if we wish to assert business-value in commercial settings.
nb. this is just something i’m thinking about, and gradually building a vocabulary around. consider this to be a working draft, wholly expected to change with time.