Thursday, August 21, 2008

Six Trends Shaping the Music Designer of 2015

As noted in an earlier post, AIGA, 'the oldest and largest membership association for design professionals', in partnership with ADOBE, conducted a broad Industry survey among 2,500 of its members, in order to anticipate future demands on the profession.

Among the results of this exercise, an enhanced redefinition of the design profession was presented, taking into account current trends, with one purpose in mind being to inform design education professionals of possible additions to the syllabus. Designer of 2015 Competencies presented thirteen 'essential competencies' for consideration by the profession.

If you landed on this post via a search engine result, I presented those thirteen core competencies here on a previous Critical Noise Aural Intelligence Blog entry for consideration by readers, arguing such competencies are applicable to our own profession, on the premise that whether they be producers, composers or beat makers, Commercial Sound Artists are designers with but a degree of difference.

You can read that post here: Music Designer of 2015


Visit AIGA's original article here: AIGA Designer of 2015 Competencies

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How did AIGA arrive at these core competencies? One thing they did was examine six trends currently influencing the design profession, and which its members anticipate will continue to do so over the next seven or eight years.

As I did with AIGA's recommendations, I'm reproducing (a condensed version of) the six trends here, for consideration by Critical Noise readers, as such trends undoubtedly also have a bearing on our industry.

AIGA's analysts note:

"These trends define design’s role in a much broader, strategic context than its roots: the making of things and beautiful things. Although that remains an important contribution, they will be a manifestation of a solution that may involve many different forms, including intangibles such as strategy and experiences."

As you read through the six trends, be sure to replace the word 'designer' with 'music designer' or 'composer' –or with whatever sound related professional title you present your self with, although regular readers to this blog already know I've previously suggested another trend, suggesting a subtle shift from the current Music and EFX model (i.e. composer or sound designer) towards a unified Music Designer paradigm (Evolution of the Music Designer).

Without further ado–


1. Wide and deep: meta-disciplinary study and practice

Designers must be able to draw on experience and knowledge from a broad range of disciplines, including the social sciences and humanities, in order to solve problems in a global, competitive market of products and ideas.

2. Expanded scope: scale and complexity of design problems

Designers must address scale and complexity at the systems level, even when designing individual components, and meet the growing need for anticipation of problem and solution rather than solving known problems.

3. Targeted messages: a narrow definition of audiences

Messaging will shift from mass communication to more narrow definitions of audiences (special interest design), requiring designers to understand both differences and likenesses in audiences and the growing need for reconciliation of tension between globalization and cultural identity.

4. Break through: an attention economy

Attention is the scarce resource in the information age, and the attention economy involves communication design, information design, experience design and service design.

The trend toward an “attention economy” encourages discussion of what is currently driving clients’ conception of form, the attraction of business to design and the problems of designing for a market that values the short term “grab”.

5. Sharing experiences: a co-creation model

Designers must change their idea of customers/users to co-creators (mass customization) to coincide with the rise in transparency of personal and professional lives (social networking, blogging, etc.).

6. Responsible outcomes: focusing on sustainability

Designers must recognize that the pursuit of excellence involves focusing clearly on human-centered design in an era of increasingly limited resources, in which appropriateness is defined by careful and necessary use of resources, simplicity, avoidance of the extraneous and sensitivity to human conditions.

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To read the AIGA article in its full, original form, visit: Designer of 2015 Trends

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Click on any link below to read all the articles in the four-part August 2008 MUSIC DESIGN 2015 series exploring the similarities between Modern Audio Production and Graphic Design:

Part 1: Defining the Music Designer of 2015
Part 2: Six Trends Shaping the Music Designer of 2015
Part 3: Music By Design
Part 4: 10 Rules for Branded Audio Logo Design

Like this topic? Related Articles from the Critical Noise Archive:

It's a Cut and Paste World (October 07, 2007)
Six Requirements for Sonic Logos (August 10, 2007)
When Marketers HEAR Double (December 01, 2006)

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