N: I would hope that design becomes more integrated into solving our biggest problems in the world today and that it replaces “design thinking,” the actual design.
B: Nancy and I have this saying, “well, ‘design thinking,’ we’re designers, the thinking is built in.” I think the future of design is at an interesting crossroads. There’s never been “design” used more as an adjective, a noun, in a descriptive way as it is today. And yet I think there’s still a general misunderstanding of what design actually is in terms of its best sense. I hope that people will continue to want to define and understand more about how design really does have an impact to form a social perspective, a civic perspective.
N: These are design problems and could be solved by design if there was more openness and interest in bringing design to the table for solving a lot of those issues.
B: The spelling [laughs]. I think American design tends to want to add on superfluous stuff that’s not necessary and I think by and large European design, the best European design, is reductive and more elemental. The thing that informs me and constantly challenges and inspires us is how can we remove the unessential and get down to the essence of something but still make it compelling as an object?
N: I would equate it to getting dressed and accessorizing. You put everything on and, especially with accessories, and then you take something off. It might equate more for women.
B: I think that’s a really great analogy, only for me it ends up being my left shoe.