The big “D” chat room

Welcome to Carlos Fiorentino’s design blog. This is a space for discussing design issues, sharing ideas and projects, connecting visual communication design courses at the University of Alberta with other practitioners, educators and students around the world.


The big “D” [design] is an approach to design theory and practice in a holistic way. 


Not long ago, designers were eclectic generalists. They studied art, science and religion in order to understand the basic working of nature, and then applied what they learned to solve the problems of the day. Over time, the quantity and complexity of accumulated knowledge led to increase specialization among designers, and breadth of knowledge was increasingly traded for depth of knowledge. This trend continues today.1 The risk of this path is that designers often miss the holistic approach that traditional design practitioners use to have, and become tools for commercial interests rather than professionals advocated for the end users of design. As designers have become more specialized and market-oriented, awareness of advances and discoveries in different areas like social or environmental issues has diminished.


Today designers have to apply a holistic approach to identify problems in first place, being generalists and multidisciplinary practitioners, managing an extraordinary mass of information and an increasing amount of knowledge. Hopefully in the process, the designers of the future will acquire proportional wisdom to face the new challenges and paradigms.



1. Lidwell, Holden & Butler. (2003). Universal Principles of Design Beverly, Mass.: Rockport Publishers

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