And the future of design in these corporations?

The future of design is shaped by the perceived impact of technology, some have stated designers need to “speak machine”, other have recognized the constant pressure of the designers to learn, appreciate and apply technology and computational powers to evolve with design and its impact, Designers are being asked to lead a digitization revolution for which many were not prepared for to start with, technology was always a consequence and necessity of manufacturing and production, later for distribution and communication, never as the fodder for design itself. In the last years we have seen elements of “strategy” and “design” merge, this convergence has sparked a conversation about the blurred lines between strategy, innovation and design, and about the role of creativity in the strategy making process.

Today, there is an estimated designer population among the F50 around 50.000 professionals, not counting all the external design subcontractors and agencies, but we have 1 trained designer in the C-Suite of the F50 (N-1) and 34 design managers as N-2, 21 of them trained in design according to the definition of this research. Though some state this reality has improved dramatically, there is not enough data to definitely make that argument, especially in light of other developments in corporate functions. So, we can only agree that this state of affairs must improve, and for that to happen designers and CEO’s together with the TMT’s must embrace a different approach to design. One goal is to aim for more designers in the C-Suite of large corporations, surely not the only one, but an important one. But it starts with designers recognizing the importance of large corporations in the context of design evolution and impact in society, and with designers wanting, desiring to be a part of this context and knowing what to do to get there.

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