Prime for Design



Design became part of the English language in the 1930's.  In English, the word is both a noun and verb.  As a noun, it means intention, aim, plan, scheme, plot; all alluding to someone being cunning and clever for it to exist.  As a verb, it means to concoct, to draft, to sketch, to fashion.  The word design is derived from the Latin word signum, meaning "sign".

To have any design, Intention, Innovation, and Technology are required.  The better these three elements are understood, the elements between them can combined to make something authentic and original.  Intention requires people first to consider how to serve human needs and make experiences better so there is sound reasoning for the design process.  Technology requires people to understand materials, hardware, and software for a design to exist and function.  Innovation requires people to think about context, creativity, and strategy to develop an original design.

Individual Vs Collaborative

Individual Design originates from one person drawing, writing, and experimenting, where the individual is the sole proprietor.  This is the classical way of understanding a designer, which is more akin to how artists are identified.  Examples of these types of designers include Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Frank Lloyd Wright.  While these designers are known to employ teams and collaborators, their individual vision is always comes first.

Collaborative Design happens when groups of people with different expertise design together.  This means people in the fields of business, human resources, urban planning, engineering, and marketing can collectively contribute to a design.  A formal process for the group to work through on a single interface contributes to collective focus.  Inclusivity and diversity are strengths as a breadth and depth of perspectives provide a check and balance for bias.


The premise of all design is discovery, which requires good leaders to inspire others to be creative.  Leaders are trusted because of their courage, discipline, humaneness, intelligence, and vision  Communicating through a wide range of situations sustains this trust, but to solidify it, uniting teams who produce excellent results ethically is essential.


Designing begins with people and people seeking to understand each other.  Having credible knowledge of the needs, motives, and behaviors of people obtained through observation, conversation, and research is a good place to start.  Design as an iterative process, one that invites failure to arrive at success.  Exploring the development, acceptance, refinement, and rejection of designs allows them to be tested against their own merit.  Designing is a deeply immersive experience requiring people to imagine, re-imagine, and play without boundaries to discover new possibilities.  A culture and environment that is comfortable for people to fail in and encourages healthy growth and development makes the design experience better for everyone.

Joshua Hoering