Great post by Jon Kolko over at frog on the maturation of the discipline of design.
He starts out with the observation:
It would appear that we’ve arrived: design has emerged as the discrete discipline of problem solving and cultural change, and the designerly ability described by Nigel Cross in 1995 as “a distinct form of intelligence” is now considered with some degree of respect in disciplines such as the sciences or the liberal arts.
But is also hesitant to apply design thinking to everything:
Simply, as important as the core ideas of “cultural immersion”, “rapid prototyping”, and “abductive reasoning” are, a cure for poverty this does not make. Teams need to execute and follow-through, and that execution takes the care familiar to most designers who were trained in (not ironically) the above type, composition, color, and two and three dimensional design activities. This is the iterative, careful, methodical, and articulate approach that designers inherited from movements of arts and crafts. It’s hard, and it takes time, patience, and experience. And while you may learn about it in business school or in the Harvard Business Review, it will take a lot more than some articles from some truly incredible thinkers to become capable of actually executing successfully.
One thing is for certain – design, in all it’s meanings and interpretations, is becoming more and more important. You see it in the categories of national magazines like HBR, BusinessWeek, Fast Company to the dashboards of new cars to new approaches in healthcare.