design | December 05, 2012

Designing the New Normal: A Viral Keynote by Anab Jain [VIDEO]

Anab Jain, TED Fellow and Founder & Director of Superflux, recently spoke at the Global Design Forum.  She shared her views on how she sees the design industry changing, and spoke about the impact that the digital revolution has had on the world of design. She focused her presentation on a specific part of her work: something that Jain calls "designing for the new normal." In a blog entry on her site, Jain explains how she decided to cover the ambitious topic to explain "[her] perspective on the shifts in the economy, and the value of the individual, the local and the personal."

"I decided to go for a broad sweep," she explains, "a rapid fire slideshow highlighting some current disruptive trends that also facilitate technological empowerment, and what they might mean for the design profession." In her ten minute presentation, Jain showed examples of some of the game-changing projects currently underway that have the potential to dramatically change the world. From guns made from 3D Printers to the development of plastic-eating bacteria designed to clean up ocean pollution, Jain presented a unique collection of design prototypes. "I wanted to highlight the impact of seemingly peripheral trends on mainstream industry," she says, using these trends to explain how "tasks that would once have required the brute force of a nation or mega-corporation can now be achieved by a small company, a like-minded group of collaborators, or even a lone individual."

This new normal, she says, where technological empowerment means that a design studio has to compete with an "open source community of hackers," poses unique challenges for designers in the modern world. At Superflux, she attempts to employ a dedicated focus on community and collaboration to harness the true spirit of innovation. She combines both consultancy and design into her studio, and has worked with some of the largest companies in the world and won several awards for her innovative approach. In her fascinating keynotes, she explains that designing for the future requires us to rethink traditional business models and rework the way we interact and collaborate in the creative sector.

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social change | December 04, 2012