Why Design matters more today than ever before
Sciences have certainly done their best to blow the whistle, warning about an escalating climate disaster. And today seemingly powerful leaders also start to talk boldly about the present need of profound and radical changes. Still, too little seems to change in the directions proposed and if it changes at all, these changes seem to be far too small, far too inconsistent and far too slow to meet the requirements specified by the scientific community. Why is this so? And what could design and design research possibly do about it? This explorative paper gives an outline of the matters underpinning two initiatives (D-side and Shaping Futures) taken at the Institute of Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) in Norway. It is an illustration of the importance of utilizing design competences in what is sometimes labeled Discursive Design by merging different design methods with Foresight and Radical Innovation. The intention with the paper is to call for a long overdue debate about, and actions that urgently need to be taken towards, the seemingly pretentious, but still designerly, vision of a different, prosperous and ‘better’ future world.