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What Should Bloggers Do?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on June 5, 2009

An interesting meeting of 20 plus Business Week bloggers took place on Thursday and while I was in transit on a no-cell phone vehicle, my buddy Steve Baker was there and had this to say about the blogging confab.

I totally agree with Steve and John Byrne about the need to link and connect being at the heart of blogging. It’s all a conversation and the best bloggers are curators of conversations. That said, I use my blog for lots of reasons, including provocation, not connection. I use it to try an idea out, a thread of a thought and ask those in the conversation to go with it.

Right now I’m working on this thought: Is Design The New Liberal Arts? Is Design, with a capital “D” the best approach to navigating our uncertain, volatile, unfocussed global life?

Reader Comments

Christine Kraft

June 5, 2009 11:25 AM

Interesting ... I like this.

While I am not certain that the word "Design" bundles exactly the combination of meanings to describe the trend, I think your thought - that there is this trend - is spot on.

I imagine the phrase could evoke a core human value(s) as well as an essential skill(s).


June 5, 2009 3:42 PM

As a designer, I hear so much talk about "Design" as something that I no longer understand what it all means. So perhaps a better question might be "What do you mean when you speak about Design with a capital "D"?

Terri Griffith

June 5, 2009 10:02 PM

As long Design, with a capital "D" includes people, organizational practice, and technology tools -- the I agree (and am actually teaching a course along those lines in the Spring). I've gotten a bit of a conversation going in my own blog around the same issues: All of us as systems designers:


June 5, 2009 11:11 PM

It will only be possible where universities are willing to forgo their siloed schools of discipline. Only the 'small'er schools are embracing these models. Many of them are participating in related conversation (e.g. LinkedIn Design Thinking group, and elsewhere).

Hopefully you will address the need for a radical change in academic business models for success.

Sam Ladner

June 6, 2009 12:56 PM

Why can't liberal arts be the new design?

Designers can take liberal arts and design solutions based on what they learn. Or humanists and social scientists can take design and learn how to make their ideals actionable.

Liberal arts still have a place in today's world, but the academy has lost its way - it has not been accountable to humanity.

Fred Collopy

June 6, 2009 2:32 PM

If the liberal arts are, as I believe, about realizing and expressing our humanity, then I think you are onto something. The great Swiss artist and graphic designer Karl Gerstner had this to say in his magnificent 1988 lecture Art = Design: "Where man is most human, he is a powerful designer - even in the design of his own follies, which should come as no surprise."


June 6, 2009 3:40 PM

While I am a great proponent of the value of Design, it is far from some magical panacea for navigating todays unpredictable waters. To over emphasize Design is to condemn it to vacuous buzz word status just like our poor friend "innovation". Design thinking, combined with a range of other skills/disciplines such as strategic foresight and systems thinking can provide a more inclusive and holistic approach for navigating and addressing some of today's challenges. But we need to exercise caution. Let's not condemn Design through overuse (although I fear that it may already be on the slippery slope to meaninglessness).

Raymond Pirouz

June 8, 2009 11:42 PM

Why does everything have to be a black | white, either | or proposition?

Design the new Liberal Arts?! As if to claim that all of that which encompasses the Liberal Arts (it's a *HUGE* field) can simply be dwarfed by the immensity of Design. No, I don't think that's the proper way to see it or think about it at all.

Does design have *a place in the liberal arts*? Most certainly. I'd go 1 step further -- more importantly -- does design (forget the capital D, will ya?) have a place in k-12 edu? Most certainly.

Let's not get too excited, shall we? Design is extremely important (as a designer I am all for it) but let's not go nuts and soil its good name w/divisive overenthusiasm.


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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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