Design Power

07.22.2021

Below, design guru Richard Farson, whom I knew, says, “Design is everything. Everything is design. We are all designers.” I passionately believe that design is “everything.” It is the primo differentiator. But what is it?

I dearly hope you will take the quotes below seriously, and imbed them into your daily affairs. Read them slowly. Please. Reflect. Quietly. Internalize the idea that a passion for design changes, well, everything. In today’s madcap world, it is, IMHO, the #1, #2, and #3 differentiator and signature of all we do.

As I said above, please-please-please reflect on this. Long. And hard.
 

Steve Jobs was a leader in the design world.

He and Jony Ives, Apple’s former design chief, both saw the importance of design:

We don’t have a good language to talk about this kind of thing. In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer... But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design.DESIGN IS THE FUNDAMENTAL SOUL OF A MAN-MADE CREATION.”Steve Jobs, “Apple's One-Dollar-a-Year Man,” FORTUNE Magazine

Expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you are doing.”Steve Jobs, in Steve Denning’s, The Lost Interview: Steve Jobs Tells Us What Really Matters," Forbes

Huge degree of care.”Jony Ives, in Ian Parker’s, “The Shape of Things to Come,” New Yorker

In some way, by caring, we are actually serving humanity. People might think it’s a stupid belief, but it’s a goal—it’s a contribution that we hope we can make, in some small way, to culture.”Jony Ives continues in Ian Parker’s, “The Shape of Things to Come,” New Yorker

STEVE AND JONY WOULD DISCUSS CORNERS FOR HOURS AND HOURS.”Laurene Powell Jobs, in Ian Parker’s, “The Shape of Things to Come,” New Yorker

 

Design in the small details. Design beyond veneer.

But that day, in that experience, the thing that really gave me comfort was a tiny mirror [on the MRI machine enabling patient eye contact with the tech and nurse] about as big as a Band-Aid.” Janet Dugan, a healthcare architect undergoing an MRI exam stated in Tim Leberecht’s book, The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

Every business school in the world would flunk you if you came out with a business plan that said, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re going to design and fabricate our own screws at an exponentially higher cost than it would cost to buy them.’ BUT THESE AREN’T JUST SCREWS. LIKE THE THERMOMETER ITSELF, THEY’RE BETTER SCREWS, EPIC SCREWS, SCREWS WITH, DARE I SAY IT, DEEPER MEANING.”Tony Fadell, the founder of Nest, in Richard Karlgaard’s, The Soft Edge

He said for him the craft of building a boat was like a religion. It wasn’t enough to master the technical details of it. You had to give yourself up to it spiritually; you had to surrender yourself absolutely to it. When you were done and walked away, you had to feel that you had left a piece of yourself behind in it forever, a bit of your heart.”Daniel Brown on the world’s premier racing shell builder, George Yeoman Pocock, in Brown’s book, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it.” Thomas Merton, in Edward Deming Andrews and Faith Andrews’, Religion in Wood: A Book of Shaker Furniture

It is fair to say that almost no new vehicle in recent memory has provoked more smiles.”review of the MINI Cooper S, Tony Swan’s, “BEHIND THE WHEEL/Mini Cooper; Animated Short, Dubbed in German,” New York Times

For every engineer and marketer on the ‘Experience Design & Development Team,’ you need an artist, psychologist, musician, theater director—and perhaps a shaman.”Tom Peters

I believe that emotion eats reason for breakfast. I am not a daydreamer, idealist, or social activist. I am a business romantic.”Tim Leberecht, The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself

Design is everything.
Everything is design.
We are all designers.”Richard Farson, The Power of Design: A Force for Transforming Everything

Only one company can be the cheapest. All others must use design.”Rodney Fitch, in Stephen A.R. Scrivener, Linden J. Ball and Andree Woodcock’s, Collaborative Design: Proceedings of CoDesigning 2000

 

The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think

Deloitte consultants took a sample of 45 years’ performance of25,000 companies, and eventually winnowed the list to 27 superstars from which they extracted the The Three Rules, which became the title of the Deloitte book, co-authored by Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed.

(1) Better before cheaper.

(2) Revenue before cost.

(3) There are no other rules.”

 

Read:

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Donald Norman

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands by Kevin Roberts

The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself by Tim Leberecht