Are designers really a special breed? Enough books have been written about them and more than enough interviews conducted. Fashion designers, product designers, building designers, interior designers, graphic designers, wedding designers, syllabus designers, set designers, media image designers, life-skill designers.

People used to be artists and artisans. Craftsmen, repairers and builders. Now it seems that brands need to be nurtured by brand managers. Who themselves credit the power of their brand to the designer(s) behind it. Never mind the vital input from builders, scientists, test users and business strategists. Never mind the work of repairers to keep the product functioning.

How much ‘good design’ is simply people solving obvious problems in fresh, but unspectacular ways?

If style plays second fiddle to substance in most customer markets and if designers are mostly about style, while engineers & builders are about substance, why so much hype about style? Afterall, the best looking wrapping paper, clothing, makeup, graphics, plastic surgery or teaching method is still secondary to the substance or message beneath.

Finally, if we all solve problems, aren’t we all at least part-time designers (of solutions)?