As members of a design community like Parsons, we all share one thing in common: we’ve been credited with being a designer. We learn what programs to use and how to develop an eye for design. We learn about fundamental design strategies and use them to develop our own methods and approaches.
During my early thesis explorations, I began to identify the design strategies I use as a designer. I investigated the relationships I have with objects around me, and how I make sense of the world using design methods. I soon realized that the strategies I use as a professional designer co-exist within individuals who are non-designers. The overlapping of design strategies led me to question the divides created between designers and non-designers.
In my work, I’m blurring the divide between designers and non-designers by rewriting the separation, and suggesting everyone is a designer. Instead, the divide exists between professional and non-professional designers. This differentiation highlights designers who use their methodologies to make a living, and non-professionals who practice design to fulfill other desires, with overlaps in between. To blur the divide, I developed a self-discovery kit, You Are a Designer. The kit nudges non-designers to discover their innate design abilities by reflecting on introspective questions, investigating the influences that shape the ways they approach design.
My project gives non-professional designers the space to re-evaluate the ways they navigate the world through design, and offers professional designers a more inclusive commentary on professionalism in design.