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Design - Unknown Explored

How can design help the world?

Published 31 Aug, 2021  ·  2-minute read

Design isn't just about aesthetics. It helps us solve problems and shape situations for the better, from the physical to the behavioural. Learn more with insights from Dr Silvia Micheli and design student Daniel Dickson as they discuss how design can help the world.

Watch Could a world exist without design? on YouTube.

When you hear “design”, you might think of interior design or graphic design. But this concept and field of study goes far beyond these disciplines.

In fact, as Silvia sees it, much of contemporary society is underpinned by design.

“The world as we know it wouldn’t exist without design,” she says.

“Design isn’t just about making things look pretty – rather, it brings innovation to the forefront of everyday situations and turns them into something better.”

How can design help the world today?

From allowing functional access in buildings to encouraging positive action on websites, the elements of design appear across all facets of our daily lives.

“From the physical to the behavioural, design changes our circumstances for the better,” says Silvia.

Dr Silvia Micheli

“Design exists to solve problems. Without design, many things we take for granted would look and feel very different.”

- Dr Silvia Micheli, Senior Lecturer in Architecture

As a current design student, Daniel already appreciates how design helps the world. He can see how it provides a unique way to find ways of improving all sorts of things.

“In our pursuit to answer this, we interrogate the problem at each step,” he says.

He believes a range of factors should influence a designer’s choices and lead them to a solution, including:

  • social factors
  • economic factors
  • cultural factors
  • political factors
  • environmental factors.

An example of design in action

Silvia looks at urban planning as a prime example of where design can hugely improve situations.

“Take the concept of inclusivity and diversity for a growing population in city design,” she says.

“This is just one of the many ways designers can improve the world around us by shaping how we live, work and interact with each other.”

And Daniel can see that organisations large and small are starting to appreciate just how much value this unique perspective and approach can add.

“It’s something more employers are recognising, from ergonomics to user experience and even entrepreneurship,” he says.

Design student Daniel Dickson

“Design literally reimagines the world and solves problems we haven’t even identified yet.”

- Daniel Dickson, Bachelor of Design student

Silvia believes people working in design have a huge role to play in helping the world and developing a better future for everyone – and the UQ Bachelor of Design provides the skills and mindset to make this possible.

“As students, teachers and professionals in this field, we get to create the world we want to live in,” she says.

“We see the problems sitting in plain sight and design the solutions nobody else can think of.”

Learn more about the Bachelor of Design, and make UQ your first QTAC preference.

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