The Anthropocene is a valuable concept in that it acknowledges the scale and duration of the impact humans are having on the planet. Ecological crisis is not really the right phrase as we are not faced with a challenge but a new era.
Design is a part and product of our current worldview. A new era will require a new fundamental way of being and understanding – from design as much as from any other walk of life.
This is not going to happen overnight, but the conversations and emerging practices are emerging and taking place. Questions about design’s relevance, role and requirements are critical to have.
Ben Reason, pioneer of service design, is one of many who is asking these questions and beginning to speculate about the directions of travels that look more fruitful. He has been examining the principles of human centred design and exploring how they could evolve in this new era.
Ben has also been wondering if there is a role for designs in organisations to lead them through the transition we are going to be going through. Are the qualities that design treasures; empathy, collaboration and creativity, actually vital for a new way to change the way we approach change?