Designer in DiDIY

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The problem is…

Through DiDIY practice untrained people are able to design what they need. The role of designer is therefore questioned and needs to be reshaped.

The proposed solution might apply when

In the last few years new figures (DiDIYers) and new spaces for creativity and innovation have emerged, (ie FabLabs and creative labs). The people involved in the DiDIY practice may increase their self-confidence and empowerment by developing new skills and knowledge. They use any available technology enabling them to craft what they want create. They are part of a tangible shift in the design approach and are, at the same time, democratizing the role of the designer.

The solution proposed is…

In the DiDIY scenario designers’ outcomes are not finished products traditionally intended but solutions that enable the user and allow for adaptation, also called ‘enabling solution’. Designers could lead, guide, provide scaffolds, or offer a clean slate to DiDIY practitioners, by:

  1. Supporting them as collaborators or facilitators according to their creativity level. As collaborators, designers bring an equal contribution into a project shared with DiDIYer. As facilitators, designers support the development of the project drafted (or defined) by the DiDIYer.
  2. Leading or facilitating creative process of making, especially within the digital social innovation phenomenon frame, also by developing (co)design-driven tools;
  3. Creating devices (such as 3D printers, parts and toolkits) globally distributed to facilitate Di-DIY tasks, that may compensate the lack of manual skills of the DiDIYer;
  4. Setting global networks of DiDIY amateurs and professionals who enact on a local level.

The expected outcome is…

The DiDIY phenomenon bring consequences on both the design discipline and professional practice. Research in design evolves creating new fields of study interesting for the discipline development. For professionals new work opportunities are opened.

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