Design is the only option
At Strate School of Design, we believe the main objective of the designer is to serve his/her neighbour. A robust solution symbolizes the issues of our time.
Think, live and consume differently.
After two centuries of development, which saw a surge in human knowledge, and two world wars that sent humanity back to its darkest hours; after believing that we had endless resources at our disposal, and then discovering the limits of our planet; man has been brought to his/her senses and forced into thinking differently, of living differently, of consuming differently, even as he/she attempts to satisfy his/her desire for emancipation and to co-exist peacefully.
If we are to achieve this goal, we must act to ensure sustainability of services, systems and objects in our everyday surroundings, and enable individuals to execute their personal plans as responsible participants of a community.
This is the mission of the designer trained at Strate “to help connect the requirements of utility, ease, simplicity, pleasure, and beauty to the service of humankind.”
Improving the quality of people’s lives
An engineer plans to master technology. The marketer aims to identify needs. The designer creates to connect and accomplish both these tasks, while reversing these points of view, yet using them to better the quality of people`s lives.
To do this, the designer relies on what we will call the “design mix” which combines,
- Culture and history originating in the 19th century
- Precise technical expertise (drawing, volume, etc.)
- A multidisciplinary approach that simultaneously uses the humanities, marketing, engineering sciences, materials, and processes
- A methodological approach that simultaneously uses project management, negotiation methodologies, and creative methodologies
Drawings of 1st and 2nd year students
Acquiring fundamentals of design
Know how to represent and give form
The technical expertise that differentiates a designer is related to the individual`s ability to represent and structure i.e. draw, model, sculpt, represent flat or in 3D. These techniques are initially “artistic”, because it is about aesthetics. Whether it is an everyday object, professional object, an object of value or insignificance, or a space, aesthetic appeal always adds to the quality of an experience.
Ever evolving tools
These techniques are supported by tools that are continuously being evolved and enhanced.
Between sculpting clay and 3D modelling, between using pastels and Photoshop, between lead and Illustrator, between decal and 3D printing, between a comic strip and a digital video, the designer does both the same and radically different things.
He/she must then seize all these new modalities, without getting overpowered by them and losing sight of his/her goals.
These methodological techniques stimulate thought processes, concept evolution, communication, effective sharing, and collaborative efforts. Beyond Design Thinking, it integrates designers into a multidisciplinary project team so that the nature and the temporalities of what is produced there, is significantly improved.
A resolute multidisciplinary approach
The designer stands at the crossroads of several disciplines. It is this position that provides relevance and intensity to his/her approach. He/she is, simultaneously, an observer of the human situations on which he/she works, and an operator of the technologies that can provide a solution.
The first task is to observe and this observation is primarily anthropological. The aim is to identify human issues before translating them into market terms the service, the system that carries it, the objects that it`s made of. These are all primarily responses to human needs before being turned into commercial solutions.
The designer taps into the humanities to determine what to measure and observe, followed by on-field assessments, practicing an ethnographic approach. He/she will then analyse these measures in order to learn lessons that will allow him/her to develop viable solutions.
Marketing techniques are not excluded from this step. Surveys, panels, and sample groups supplement a more scientific approach.
The second task is to identify the technologies, processes, and materials that will allow the implementation of the solutions developed. This implies permanent monitoring on the designer`s part because choosing a technology always has consequences in terms of feasibility, manufacturing, robustness, and also cost. This multidisciplinary approach is not only fruitful; it is also a stipulation of the process of intervention by the designer, whether as a project manager or simple facilitator.
For a sustainable design
The designer participates in the design of devices that shape our daily lives. This artificial and complex environment strongly influences our perception of the world and discreetly shapes our lifestyles: we are all objects of design.
Paradoxically, our ability to adapt those ways of life in the face of global challenges poses a major difficulty, when it affects the continuity of our species. This is why designers must be responsible when developing a good understanding of issues and in integrating global and long-term thinking.
They are then able to put their expertise at the service of research and design solutions that are both viable and desirable.