Design & Thinking Documentary Redux

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Design & Thinking at the Rialto, Raleigh

by Rebecca Cochran

Last evening, I had the pleasure of a second viewing of the documentary, Design & Thinking. My initial viewing of the film was nearly a year ago at the North Carolina screening premiere in Greensboro. Last night’s screening was arranged through the Raleigh chapter of AIGA. The excellent opening remarks were given by David Burney, CEO of New Kind and former VP at Red Hat.

The film is very well done with an energizing soundtrack and inspiring interviews with designers from a variety of disciplines. I particularly enjoyed the spots featuring writer and former Dean of the Rotman School of Management, Roger Martin, IDEO’s David Kelley and Udaya Patnaik of Jump Associates. Each is a clear communicator and truly passionate about design thinking. I included excerpts from them and many others in my 2012 post on the film.

Despite some recent nay-sayers who’ve suggested that design thinking may already be a thing of the past, my take is this. It doesn’t matter what term we use (if we use one at all). What does matter is that each and every one of us, no matter what our role in business, can and should learn to be designers. In fact, we should become design do-ers. Whether we’re designing things or designing services, rapid prototyping and failing early and cheaply are the best ways to discover the customer’s true needs. Or, as Innosight’s Clayton Christensen has been reminding us for decades, how to determine the customer’s job to be done.

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