Questioning the Edges of Design


This – in its current incarnation – might not make it onto the site per se, but I’m writing it to keep my mind focused on the task at hand.

When I wrote this originally (‘First Pass’, almost two years ago) I was focused primarily on communication design, my interests have since widened. I think the content should echo the theme of Break: “Questioning the edges of design.”

I’ll probably use this content, in a refined form, as a /purpose page.


Perhaps the best form for this is a recipe? I'd originally thought a Venn Diagram, but it's getting complicated. Essentially:

I'm struggling with this. I might be over-complicating it. Broadly, most of what's published at the moment falls under design and technology. It might be enough to leave as is.

Second Pass

What is design and how is it changing? How are designers evolving as we move away from a world of design specialism that has, until very recently, been so prevalent?

My purpose is to break down boundaries and remove the artificial barriers that have somehow been erected to encircle the various ‘specialisms’ of design.

I’m interested in exploring how what we do as designers is changing to reflect an increasingly fluid and multidisciplinary form of making. This focus very much underpinned the ethos of Break, a design conference I ran in 2014, in Belfast.

First Pass

My focus is on communication design at heart: publishing, both digital and analogue; typography, which shapes messages, be they atoms or bits; the internet in all it’s forms - web, email, social feeds – a growing list; and, of course, all the different and complex facets that collectively comprise the field of design (surely one of the most exciting occupations to occupy at this moment in time).

Communication is undergoing fundamental changes as we slingshot out of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The ways in which we communicate are widening out and multiplying; we’ve come a long way since Gutenberg’s bible.

In a connected culture, how we communicate with each other, how we share information, how we exchange, changes. We’ve moved from a one-to-one culture, through a one-to-many culture, into a many-to-many to culture; a culture of connections, proliferating, where each new node offers new possibilities. A culture where conversations matter.