top of page

The Age of Community

Earlier this year I was invited to talk to design graduates at UNSW's Design Society about what employers will expect of them. Preparing for the talk got me thinking about what is the best advice I can give?

Working with design graduates over the years, I've noticed there is one key element that underpins any designer's success - how well they can pivot from an individualist-focused mindset, to a community-focused mindset.

Formal education is a solo pursuit, it may take a village to raise a child, but they're tested, marked and graded as an individual. By the end of Year 12, final scores are calculated against the rolling average, and students use those to compete against each other for university places. By the time they've finished their degrees, the age of the individual is naturally well-established.

But the commercial design world doesn't work the same way. Its project-focused, because without the project, it has no reason to be. We've known since the pyramids that to bring any project to fruition, it requires teamwork and herein lies the age of community to make it happen.

Aside from designers needing to be creative and inventive, I think career success lies in making the pivot to joining the team and helping to pull one direction together for the sake of the project.


bottom of page