Silent Design is Design without Designers
I so love this term.
Apparently it was created by Peter Gorb and Angela Dumas for a London Business School paper:
“A great deal of design activity goes on in organizations which is not called design. It is carried out by individuals who are not called designers and who would not consider themselves to be designers. We have called this ‘silent design’.”
When companies and organizations become design centric, Silent Design automatically happens. The activity of design becomes part of the corporate culture and done by everyone. The issue, as implied by the cartoon, is that Designers are afraid to let go. I for one have no problem with this.
However, design centric corporate cultures do make a Designer’s job a whole lot easier and harder at the same time. It becomes easier because everyone has become people-centered, and harder because the role of design has blurred.
I would not worry though as this is pretty normal in multi-disciplinary teams, and when design is applied as a holistic activity. As long as there is mutual respect between roles and competences, Designers will have a very important role to play in organizations for many years to come.
Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Brian is a multidisciplinary Design Leader with more than 18 years of experience leading strategic design programs that drives successful Brands and Fortune 500 businesses such as GE, Philips, Nakamichi, Flextronics, Ericsson, Hannspree, and HP. His passion is in helping organisations leverage on Design Driven Innovation to make people’s lives better.