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Foreword

Foreword

By Anijo Mathew

At the Institute of Design—where we’ve pioneered systems design and human-centered design, where we authored 101 Design Methods (and counting), and where, every day, we are devising new frameworks and approaches—we are committed to the use of design to continually improve our lived environment. So, we consider it our responsibility to take stock of the role of design in our world and our organizations.

Such a review seems most appropriate today, when technology seems to be outpacing our ability to harness it effectively, and organizations continue to question the value of design.

Technology seems to be outpacing our ability to harness it effectively, and organizations continue to question the value of design.
Anijo Mathew, Dean of the Institute of Design in Chicago, standing in a bright green room.

We, as designers and design-trained leaders, need to link specific attributes of our skill sets with the specific pressing needs of our time. In the following pages, ID faculty member Mark Jones uncovers how design professionals are uniquely qualified to take responsibility and lead today’s most important organizations to success.

The research findings here build on and reference our 2020 report, “Lead with Purpose,” which made actionable recommendations for leveraging design throughout an organization for competitive advantage. As our graduate school continues to be a distinct epicenter for training the kind of strategic and creative leaders our world needs, we will continue to examine the state of design practice and provide recommendations for our graduates, our allies, design leaders, and their communities worldwide.

Both the vitality of the design practice and its promise to realize desired outcomes for organizations and societies require our collective optimism and action. Let’s consider where we are—and where we must go next.

Anijo Mathew
Dean, Institute of Design

Peter Zapf stands in the ID outside courtyard

Peter Zapf

Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives

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