Designers as leaders

* I like the introduction of the writing. It brings me into the story and gives me to think and think.
Designers as Leaders (Originally published in Perspectives)
Richard Farson

Design is one of the few professions dominated by its clientele. Compared to physicians, attorneys, and academics, designers are inclined to do what they’re told. That posture is so widely accepted among designers it sometimes seems that the only ones who can occasionally insist on having things their way are the superstars of design.

Of course, having one’s way is hardly the ideal manner in which to conduct a professional relationship. Nevertheless, design judgment, even in matters of social responsibility such as health and safety, let alone matters of esthetics, efficiency, productivity and visual impact, is often subordinated to the client’s or employer’s wishes.
That is such an old story among designers that perhaps it is small wonder that designers tend not see themselves as leaders. If they have learned not to expect their professional judgements to sway clients or employers, how can they imagine leading corporations or communities, to say nothing of exercising leadership in the developing global arena? It is simply impossible for most designers to think of themselves as having a place in high councils of decision making.

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