Dynamist Blog

A "National Design Policy"?

Ever hungry for status (and business, but mostly status), designers are hoping for a national design policy. A "design czar" would do the trick, but they'd settle for legislation that declares, "Professional design standards shall be used in executing any reform efforts between government and citizens." What are "professional design standards"? Who gets to exclude the upstarts? And--to ask a question designers never consider--what are the limits of design? A process that works wonderfully in a competitive, decentralized marketplace, where new ideas have a chance to enter, would look very different as a single federal policy.

I suspect, of course, that this is not a serious policy proposal but, rather, the latest bid for the recognition designers are always desperate for. But it does suggest another industrial policy.

Since editors are suffering so terribly from the restructuring of the media business, perhaps we should campaign for a "national editorial policy" to employ professional writing standards in all government documents. We could turn Joel Achenbach loose on that health care bill...

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