You can recognize the many faces of design by looking at the many different professional societies that promote design around the world. These societies may have roots in engineering or architecture or industrial design but they all share the view of design as the vanguard of innovation and as the creative front end of the production of goods and services.
From my discussions with other design journal editors and with representatives of these various societies, I have a growing sense that we need a forum where the diverse views and work on design periodically coallesce. The US National Science Foundation has expended significant effort over time to support this idea. Other communities, such as controls or information processing, have created such venues in some form of international federation of national, regional, or specific-focus societies. I think it is time to create some form of design federation that supports and promotes our shared views and celebrates our diversity.
As noted in my Jan. 2012 editorial, we have started a cooperation among several design journal editors. As a first step toward a design federation it would be good to increase our mutual awareness of the different design societies.
The Design Society is an organization with roots in European engineering that has put a lot of effort in recent years to become a lot more inclusive and broad, including strong ties with the design community of ASME. In the above spirit of increasing communication and mutual awareness, I am very pleased to host this month’s guest editorial by Chris McMahon, the current President of the Design Society.