Exercise 3: Skills of the Adaptable Designer:


I have read some of the posts on the timeline, about the designers and their work, to look further into the various skills the designers would have needed to create their designs.

For example, Rem Koolhaas has a humanistic approach to his designs, described as a cerebral person who makes decisions using his intelligence and cold, hard facts, instead of his emotions, linking technology with humanity. Soft skills but important just the same.

Through his childhood, Frank Gehry would spend his Saturday mornings spent in his grandfather’s hardware store, where he would construct imaginary buildings and cities from wood chippings and other items he discovered. His architectural designs were made up of found objects in furniture and buildings, of waste materials such as plywood, corrugated metal, cardboard. His challenging designs are distinctive designs of curved shapes and fragmented forms. Therefore he is able to visualise and construct through models, all of which are both hard and soft skills.

I have created my own lists of both soft and hard skills that I think an adaptable designer requires. After checking the designers on the timeline and looking at their works and what skills would have helped them create their designs, I then made two mind maps, one of the soft skills required of an adaptable designer and another mind map of the hard skills needed. I then listed them and ranked them in order of importance for my own creative practice, top of the list being most important.

Hard Skills needed for an adaptable designer

  • Spatial awareness
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Ideation
  • Drafting and drawing ability
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer skills
  • Colour knowledge

Soft Skills needed for an adaptable designer

  • Visualisation
  • Passion
  • Empathy
  • Self-critical and self awareness
  • Able to embrace change
  • Flexibility
  • Self challenging
  • Multi-tasking

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