chapter  5
22 Pages

What will designers do when everyone can be a designer?

ByMatt Sinclair

In this chapter, the author writes from the position that there is no fundamental difference between the design practised by professionals and that undertaken by amateurs. Much of the literature dealing with personalisation and the involvement of the consumer in the design process has concentrated on the possibility of changing the product's appearance. In the past, one of the key advantages of the professional designer – what allowed them to engage in design to a higher level than the amateur – was their access to the means of production. Within the field of industrial design, strategies such as user-centred design and co-design are common-place methods for the integration of user needs into the design process. Sinclair and Campbell present a classification of Consumer Involvement in New Product Development (NPD), which compares the new approaches to more conventional methods. Mass customisation, crowdsourcing and open design all, to varying extents, constrain the ability of the user to modify the original design.