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Driving the Economy

A Pervasive Process

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San Francisco: A World
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Text by Clifton Lemon,
Lemon Design.

 

Most of us take design for granted. We overlook its value as a strategic business tool, and we are usually unaware that almost everything in our daily lives is "designed"- planned, sketched, manufactured or built. In the U.S., "design" often means decoration (designer jeans) or high technology (designer drugs) — in either case it's a mysterious "creative" process, done by an elite group. But North Americans also revere "innovation" and view men like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers as national heroes.

Actually, the design process includes many activities, and is much closer to innovation than to decoration. Also, information technology today stimulates innovation, increasing our access to design tools; facilitating rich new ways of collaborating; and erasing the boundaries between designers and their traditional patrons. Design is a fundamental cultural and economic force, and a defining characteristic of civilization. Technology drives economic growth and design drives the development of technology.

 

 

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