How do we design as a team, without forgetting the client?

42 years… Really 42 years? It has been 42 years since the first Earth Day and the idea of saving our planet and livelihood is still not a top priority; we as a society are too focused on progress-creating the new best thing. So how do we as designers start to finally kick-start a worldly lifestyle of sustainable living? This week’s readings and the LOLA show brought up some very interesting thoughts about how we design, use and create relationships with our products.

The interior design reading “A Natural Balance…” brought up the concept of designing with the integrative design process. IDP is designing as a group- designers, architects, engineers, etc… This is a very interesting idea to design and in a lot of ways is very smart, since each one of these individual groups are vital to the success of a project. Though this is very different form empathic design, because it is not so much about what the client specifically wants but the focus is more on what is best for the design, build and function of the structure. If we as designers could find a combination of IDP and empathic designs or if we work towards designing in both ways for each project we could not only build structures that make clients happy but also safer and more efficient, which could easily lead to more sustainable designs.

The LOLA show had a very interesting topic that I had never personally thought about being important to design. Emotional intelligence is not something that most people discuss as being important for their profession, so I had never really thought about the importance of it to design. This is where empathic design becomes important, as designers we need to have an emotional intelligence to be able to design empathically to truly understand clients and their emotional attachments to products.

This week was an eye opener to numerous “new” aspects of design. It brought up some one ways of approaching design projects and the client’s desires. So how do we design successfully with IDP and empathic design combined? How do we design with codes and regulations in mind while also successfully meeting the client’s needs? How can we improve our emotional intelligence, to not only help our communication skills with clients but also improving our designs? And most importantly how does this all relate back to sustainability?  

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