On Breaking Silos

ROLE

Designer

TIMELINE

2 weeks, 2020
Individual Project

DOMAIN

Print Design

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THE CHALLENGE

What kind of designer do I want to become & what is the role of a design practitioner?


This project began with a self-reflection on my practice as a design in the field of social innovation and as a designer in general. Being a designer means being thoughtful about the people you are working for and with, and the types of relationships that emerge from these interactions.

How can I express, draw, visualize, or otherwise articulate this in a design manifesto?

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PROCESS

Discovering the meaning of design.


In thinking about the meaning of design, I collected my thoughts on its role on a personal to world level, in addition to ways it could take form in a manifesto. This became an amalgam of anything remotely relevant to what design can, should, and will do.

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SYNTHESIS

Breaking silos impacts both the processes and outcomes of design.


In trying to find my voice and an encompassing path for the direction of my manifesto, I began to uncover themes, including the importance of curiosity to co-design and building more interconnectedness in the world. My initial ideas included a haiku collection written by designers to build the idea of co-design into the creation of the manifesto itself, an album that conveys the designer's purpose through words and music, and a guidebook on breaking silos.

Breaking silos became one of those overarching themes, persisting across a diverse range of design processes, applications, and roles. It is also something I want to work more actively towards as a designer. So, how does a designer work towards breaking silos?

I distilled the means of getting there into 4 principles with underlying characteristics.

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GENERATION

Envisioning the design manifesto.


These 4 principles will make up the meat of what I want to say,
but how will I say it?

  • Who is this manifesto really for?
  • How should this impact how I express the ideas?
  • How does someone feel going in vs. coming out of interacting with it?
  • What kind of interactions will occur?
  • What form should it take?
  • Why will people listen to what I'm saying?
  • What is my voice?

This is where I began visualizing what this manifesto could look like and finding inspiration for how I could express the problem around silos.

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ITERATION

Smoothing out the story.


My first iteration was relatively effective at setting the stage for the punchline of the book, but made it hard to digest the principles that it built up to. This was largely due to the heavy, text-based content contrasting with the much lighter content early on. My second iteration was focused on kneading out the wordiness and moving the story into the visuals. Back to the drawing board!

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CONCLUSION

Rethinking the role of design.


My final iteration tried to be as concise as possible, which led me to use more visual metaphors. Ultimately, my design manifesto is a simple narrative aimed at inspiring both expert and non-expert designers to rethink how their design practices can work towards breaking silos. Check out my final spreads below!

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