International Journal of Art & Design Education

Understanding the Role of the Designer in Society

Volume 11.1   1992



This paper argues that knowledge of the context in which designers practise is essential to an understanding of the role of the designer in society. Designers are categorised as 'narcissistic', 'corporate' or 'social'. Some negative aspects of contemporary design are explored and a model of 'good design' promoted which connects with consumers' basic needs and human rights. It is suggested that design education has a significant role to play in the promotion of social responsibility, by encouraging students to contextualise their work. This need not stifle creativity but will allow for a range of innovative approaches.