Design Is A Story

Each year at my alma mater the school director (Dominique Sciamma) releases a powerful and philosophical design statement as that season’s design theme. It gets unavoidably plastered around the campus on T-shirts, posters, and notebooks.

  • 2015 : “Design is the only option.”
  • 2016 : “Design is a humanism.”
  • 2017 : “Design is in the question.”
  • 2018 : “Design like you care.”

These simple words help students tell themselves a story — an internal dialogue about the importance of design and why we ought to care about being at school in the first place. Walking around those halls, the obscure statements intentionally make student (and staff alike) think in wonderment:

“The only option?” — 🤔 This sounds dire. I had better think about the impact of my projects. Can you truly do anything without design?

“…a humanism?” — We are in control, aren’t we? I had better think responsibly. And keep a human-centered approach in mind.

“…in the question?” — Are we 100% certain we’re asking the right ones? 🤯 Can we better validate the target by challenging our assumptions?

The designer’s greatest tool is a good story (not excluding visual and other story formats). A few words, or a simple gesture can go a long ways to align many minds.

Strate’s slogan literally had me from before I set foot on campus:

  • Simple +Just +Fair

Claps are great and comments are gold! Did I leave something out? I really appreciate feedback so, please leave a comment if you have any. 🙌

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