Design in Complex Problem-Solving

Posted by Erin Routson

Why is design so important when it comes to “complex, unpredictable, people-oriented systems”? In a piece on his own blog, former IBM-er Irving Wladawsky-Berger seeks to outline the design principles that matter when it comes to newly-emerging complex systems.

His explanation for the importance of design  comes from a short piece by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, for the Economist issue titled Design Takes Over. Antonelli outlines the ubiquity of design and its importance in facilitating and easing processes of change.

From here, Wladawsky-Berger outlines his three principles: flexibility and adaptability, quality of experience, and marketing and communications. It is the last principle, seemingly “corporate,” that becomes important to encouraging agencies and others that service design is important and needed.

This is particularly important when trying to communicate something new, complex and potentially disruptive, which your audience, – including clients, employees, partners, press,  and analysts, -  has not seen before, which they don’t understand, and whose value will take a while to fully play out.

To read the full essay, expanding on his other two principles, click here.