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What’s next for designers?

In 1974, Enzo Mari's Autoproduction project was one of the first examples of the decentralization of design. His pieces of furniture were designed to be built by the user with simple tools and could be adapted to the user's needs by sawing and hacking. Design thinking courses for non-designers and social, community-centred design are all signals of the same trend.

Design (and designers) sit less and less at the drawing table, and enter more and more the meeting room, together with a wide variety of stakeholders, acting as a subject of mediation, facilitation of the process, rather than of individual creation.

As the responsibility to design is been decentralised, design expertises are being standardised and “automated” to be used by a wide range of individuals. What if in the future, designer’s know-how and sensibility won’t be needed anymore in the creative/innovation sector? Where else would they put their abilities to use? What’s next for designers in a world where everybody designs?

We asked these questions to the students of the final year of Material Futures, at the Central Saint Martin's University of London. As they are approaching the job market we asked how they would contribute to the rapidly changing role of the designer.