Richard Buchanan presented the “Core Competencies of Design” in class this week, offering a slightly different version of the list of why designers are valued. I’m not sure if this is just a further iteration or different due to the shift in focus from designers to design itself. The language is fairly similar, though notably different in a few areas. I’ve included both for comparison.

Core Competencies of Design

  • Vision: see the whole
  • Facilitation: work across disciplines
    • Why? Something to do with being able to see the whole. To see the way things fit together
  • Visualization: polysensorial awareness
    • Many senses: aural, touch, smell, as a way of grasping the situation we are in
  • Prototyping: rapid experimentation
    • This is close to how we work. It’s not a comfortable way of working for most people.
    • Opposite to: if you don’t do it the right the first time, you fail. Philosophic difference.
  • Human-centered focus: focus on people and their goals (individuals and organizations)
    • Look a people as individuals and as groups. Also in context of an organization, because humans work in teams or groups

Why Designers Are Valued

  • Whole/part: designers look at the whole in relation to the parts; they see the big picture
  • Bring to life/creativity: designers have a passion for making things
  • Comfortable with ambiguity: openendedness; not prejudging the solution; take chances, take risks; try multiple solutions
  • Polysensorial aesthetics: an aesthetic of many senses; this is about the actual making: prototyping; drawing; visualizing
  • Emotion/empathy: emotion is a way to engage with the world; passion; designers care about people

Also, Buchanan said the core competencies list will be part of an upcoming publication, which I think is not his own.