Design Movements Today

by Luke Wroblewski October 25, 2004

Realism, Bauhaus, Constructivism, Futurism, Neoclassicism, Surrealism, Swiss design, Pop art, Post-Modernism. Art movements and the artists behind them have continually moved painting, sculpture, and design forward by uniting around shared visions and philosophies.

But today’s generation of digital designers often unite in different ways. They carve out vertical niches within the experience design process and nurture the skills necessary to grow within their area of expertise. In other words, they come together through shared competencies. This segmentation is exemplified by the list of organizations present at a recent BAYCHI user experience design event:

  • Information Architecture (AifIA)
  • Interaction Design (IxDG)
  • Graphic Design (AIGA)
  • Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH)
  • Human Factors (BACHFES)
  • Technical Communications (STC)
  • Human Interaction (BayCHI)
  • Usability (UPA)
  • Industrial Design (IDSA)

Instead of manifestos, these groups produce mission statements. Instead of advocating unique approaches (philosophies) to advancing user experience design they seek to expand their recognition and influence within companies and the design community.

Let’s take a horizontal cross-section of this diverse talent and unite them around themes of credibility and findability. Let’s band together to bring natural forms and natural mappings to interactive designs with a movement inspired by nature’s diversity. Let’s unite around themes of user advocacy or immersive experience. Let’s include representatives from Marketing, Business, and Engineering. Let’s think “I believe in…” instead of “I am a…” Let’s converge and move forward.