A Framework to Accelerate Universal Design Literacy
Design has historically been a specialty, something practiced exclusively by engineers, architects and all manner of design professionals. This is changing. Just as arithmetic was once a peripheral skill until the industrial age brought about the need for math literacy, the socioeconomic conditions of our current age are heralding the need for millions of people to level up in design. The expanding role innovation and collaboration play in our daily work, combined with the ever-increasing complexity and rate of change of today’s products, services, and systems are making the case for design literacy. This paper: 1.) makes the case that design is poised to become the next universal literacy; 2.) argues that in order for such a literacy to arise, there must first exist a framework of agreed-upon skills that are taught and practiced by the masses; and 3.) proposes such a set of skills along with the research and reasoning that support this proposed framework.
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