So I just finished reading the first section of Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind- why right brianers will rule the world. Can you believe 10 minutes after I finished reading the darn thing in the office break room- I lost it. I mean it completely disappeared, as in vanished into thin air.
This makes me question if right brained people will actually rule the world. I’m sure if I were left brained I would have intensely focused my energy on returning the book to it’s rightful place in my backpack. Instead I was so inspired with the thought of ruling the world, I started gazing out the window again dreaming of this brave new world where artists and creative types could finally have our revenge on the people who make money. Only to rush back to my cube and presumably leave my book behind for some opportunistic late lunch taker- no doubt a fellow right brainer.
So as I try to recall my readings from memory, I want to reflect a bit on Automation, Asia, and Abundance. It was such a treat to read in print a thought that had been on my mind for a while but never quite organized. As someone who’s profession has been phased out in this new automated world ( I was a travel agent for 10 years), I am especially thoughtful of skills of the future that can’t be automated- yet. Hence, my new foray into education. I have met countless others, under 40 years old who have met similar automated job phase-outs. ; a mapmaker, an accountant, and a candlestick maker. Just joking on the last one.
Which brings us around to design. In theory, I agree with Daniel Pink that our design is becoming a much more critical requirement of our workplace skill set. His examples of how high end designers are now selling merchandise in stores like Target is a fair example of people’s demand for meaning and feeling in their purchases. As our abundance has grown, our need for cheap utilitarian functionality has diminished and instead 0f needing a couch and coffee table, we need a designer living room set that defines who we are as a person. (This reminds me of Fight Club)
Yet I couldn’t help wondering how the watering down of design is effecting our quality. If everyone is a designer, than does design mean anything? Sure you can plan your own honeymoon, design your own living room, do your own taxes, make your own website, but how effective will you be? What kind of quality can you expect? What happens when you take out the expert and are relying on your instincts? How does this effect instructional design?
When everyone thinks they can make an on-line tutorial, I can see where some may question the need for an instructional designer. Just like any other industry we must continue to prove ourselves show our results, and highlight expert advice, quality and results rather than mere functionality.