Episode 84 of The Informed Life podcast features a conversation with HM Land Registry head of design Laura Yarrow. Earlier this year, Laura posted a tweet stream advocating for designers to think of themselves as “trusted agitators.” I wanted to ask her about it.
Inevitably, the subject of designers having a “seat at the table” came up:
… [designers are] trying to do this good work that has a huge social impact for some people, if you work in public services, especially. But you know, really anyone who works in design is affecting something somewhere and changing things for better or worse for people. But there’s this still persistent feeling that design is undervalued, it’s underfunded, it’s misunderstood, is outnumbered by the disciplines often in organizations. And because of that sort of perfect storm, designers don’t always react in the best way. I think it becomes territorial and people advocate for the wrong things.
Designers are change agents. How do we effectively manage change? What degree of agency are we perceived to have? How can we influence that perception?
Our stance influences how we’re perceived by our colleagues. That, in turn, affects how we perceive ourselves. Having confidence in the value of design helps. At least that’s my take — check out our conversation for more.