Design Mind: Daniel Pink

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

Energy.  Healthcare.  Sustainability.  Economics.  There is no shortage of daunting issues facing the country these days.  If you’re like me, you are thinking that you don’t necessarily like the way things are currently going, but you’re not quite certain how we’ll solve the challenges at hand.  As soon as we think we have one thing figured out, a mutation pops up and we have a new issue to deal with.

Having said that, though, we can and should continually work to progress in areas where improvement is needed.  More often than not, lasting success results from creative thinking that looks at issues from a variety of viewpoints, leaving open the possibility of more than one effective resolution.

Great minds think Design

Those of you familiar with Dwell magazine recognize it as a publication that seeks to make the design world accessible, and legible, to a broad audience.  In a nod to this philosophy, this month’s Dwell On Design conference in Los Angeles will host business writer Daniel Pink as its keynote speaker.  

In his evolution from law school grad to speech-writer to business consultant, Pink wrote a book called A Whole New Mind:  Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future in which he discusses the importance of creative thinking in business and society.  Mr. Pink, like Dwell, realizes the value in sharing design-centered practices with those outside of the design community.

As a preview to his presentation at the DOD conference,  Dwell interviewed Mr. Pink to inquire about his own journey to “design literacy,” and the ways in which designers can help their own cause to achieve far-reaching success.

…to be in business, let alone to be a fully-functioning member of a democratic society, you have to be numerate, you have to know a little math. I think the same thing is true now about design thinking: You don’t have to be a great designer, but you have to be design-literate. I think the capacity to explain what design is, to show what design is, to tell stories about design, to educate people about design, does a hugely important service.

As creative problem-solving continues to positively influence business, politics, and society, the conversations Mr. Pink promotes in his work will become increasingly important to those who strive to expand the reach of design into arenas beyond the creative community.  The ability of designers to effectively communicate the value of their chosen discipline will ultimately determine the success of this effort.


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