Updated: Apr 19
Sadly the biggest problem with the general profession of design is the lack of understanding that society has of the role and true function of a designer. Often designers are asked to step in after the brief is defined and asked to step out before the project is completed. This is sadly true for all facets of design whether it is a building, space, product, or interface.
Still too often, the client/owner defines the problem in the beginning and a third party builds it in the end. Designers take up the role in the middle and because of this designers are often seen as assistants to the team or process but not a core part of it, ie something that can easily be interchangeable with another. If it can be removed it's not as critical and if it's not as essential, it's not as respected nor as rewarding. Real meaningful, impactful results, however, occur when designers are there in the very beginning to help identify the problem and bring it to life at the very end.
A designer’s job should start way before the first line is drawn and end way after the ink has dried on the last.
One only needs to look at the case of Johnathan Ive and Apple for that idea to sink in.
“The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible.’ " - Hillman Curtis.
In short, perhaps a designer is simply someone that solves problems within a set of existing constraints. And this is true for all types of designers whether you are a graphic designer, furniture designer, interior designer, web designer, or Architect.