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Designing Design Character

 Designing Design Character by Melis Senova:


The importance of the focus of this class on Design Character cannot be overstated. Designers are agents serving the interest of others through their personal actions and  therefor good character counts in design. 


As you know an exceptional scientist does not need to be of good character to make great discoveries. Artists do not need to be of good character to create great works of art. They can be miserable human beings without compromising their professional work. Designers on the other hand must be of good character because they have a fiduciary relationship with others who they work with and on behalf of. 


The relationship between good designers and those they work on behalf of is a two way relationship. Unlike empathy – a one-way relationship – the service relationships involved in designing are vulnerable to poor character on the part of the designer because they are two-way relationships. 


The seminal question then is how does good design character get designed into designers? Typically, formal education in design does not touch the challenge of character designing or building at all. Academic programs in design avoid any focus on character design including the military, governmental and other organizations. Most often courses or training in character design are pejoratively dismissed as ‘self-help’ or ‘naval gazing’. 


The ability to design your own character is necessary and essential for good designing, particularly on behalf of stakeholders. Courses like this need to be elevated — not just for design professionals but all professionals.  


Melis is an excellent resource in this regard. She is a master guide in character design.


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