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[Photo of Jack Schulze by Timo Arnall. Quote from interview on the Kicker blog.]

I want to give you a very different definition of design, and this one comes from one of the principals at the business, Jack Schulze. This is what he said in a recent interview:

“Some people (they are wrong)” – Jack can speak with parentheses – “Some people (they are wrong) say design is about solving problems. Obviously designers do solve problems, but then so do dentists. Design is about cultural invention.”

Ooh now I love this. Some kinds of design are often a sort of “paint by number” where every decision made has a “because” attached to it. This information goes in the footer because that info always goes in the footer. The site uses a username and password because all other sites like this use a username and password. Because because because. What Schulze says is this is problem solving. It’s still hard, and it still takes a lot of skill and training, but problem solving alone isn’t sufficient to be called design.

What Schulze says is that design has invent, to create new ways of doing things, and to contribute to culture.

Culture. Another sneaky word. Well, what is culture?

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