In a design company, It can sometimes feel a little esoteric when asked to describe what exactly we do. At the core of it, we design stuff. The irony lies in the fact that everything we see around us has, at some point, gone through some sort of design process. Granted, more thought was definitely put into some things more than others. We digress. The professional landscape of a designer has grown exponentially through the years. From products to aesthetics to strategy, it seems like what we put on our business cards are getting stranger and stranger. Using our company as an example, we will attempt to describe to you what a modern designer might do.
But first, a step back. The word design originates from the 16th Century Latin verb, designare. When broken down, designare is a compound word consisting of de (out) and signare (to mark). Together, the word means “to mark out”. While this meaning is not present anymore, we still use its metaphoric extensions. Today, we use it in the context of preparing, planning, sketching or fashioning artistically. Designing refers to the aesthetic, functional, economic and sociopolitical dimensions of the design process as well as the design object. The process does require a considerable amount of research, thought, and continual readjustment.
The flexibility of the modern design company
At Chemistry, we have the opportunity to blend a variety of different work environments. We are all aware that creatives are eccentric creatures with odd preferences. As with any collective of oddballs, we strive to create an environment whereby all irregularities can thrive. This means that lone-wolf freelancers and team-players can both excel in the same environment.
Our design company is multi-disciplined
Designers are usually specialists in their respective disciplines. From UI/UX to Industrial design these designers have honed their abilities through a multitude of experience. At Chemistry, while we see the value of individual prowess, we recognise the collaborative potential of different skillsets coming together. As a result, our team comprises of innovators, business strategists, and a plethora of different designers. We come together to apply a human-centered approach to enhance experiences and create opportunities for our clients and their partners.
Since all design work is rooted in a familiar language, enacting design in one discipline means practicing another. This is one of the many values of a multidisciplinary environment. Moreover, the work from these various disciplines should come together flawlessly to form a single curated experience. For example, it is invaluable for business and service design to understand how each discipline works with the other.
We value collaboration
Given our fast-paced environment, the workflow of a project is not straightforward. The traditional conveyor belt flow does not exist in the modern design company. Today, many people work on the same creative project at the same time in order to create a successful project with a holistic experience. As a result, designers organically learn the skills of their peers. This results in an even more seamless collaborative process. Collaborating also pushes us to be more critical and keeps us updated on current trends. Working collaboratively with our clients helps us understand the user experience of different fields. As a result of this, we have learnt that these insights are transferrable across all industries.
Designers at Chemistry
Using design thinking as a methodology allows us to continually provide our clients with innovative solutions. The diverse expertise of our team provides us with multiple perspectives and allows us to approach challenges flexibly and critically. In sum, the modern design company succeeds by approaching organisational problems as a designer. This entails being comfortable with failure, open to learn, flexible, empathetic, and continually collaborative with clients and partners.