Design systems as a concept is a fundamental reshaping of how we consider our role as designers. Closely related to the concept of design as programming, this technology allows us to remain relevant in a machine-driven world
"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." ― Eric Hoffer
“Every system has two sets of rules: The rules as they are intended or commonly perceived, and the actual rules (‘reality’). In most complex systems, the gap between these two sets of rules is huge.”
— Paul Buchheit
When designers center around the user, where do the needs and desires of the other actors in the system go? The lens of the user obscures the view of the ecosystems it affects.
Broadly, UCD optimizes around engagement with the needs, desires and shortcomings of the user (in stark opposition to, say, Mies van der Rohe) and explores design from the analysis and insight into what the User might need or want to do. Simply, it moves the center from the designer’s imagination of the system to the designer’s imagination of the user of the system
Maybe those who really design systems-interacting-with-systems approach their relationships to said systems with the daunting complexity of influence, rather than the hubris of definition or control.
The designers of complex adaptive systems are not strictly designing systems themselves. They are hinting those systems towards anticipated outcomes, from an array of existing interrelated systems. These are designers that do not understand themselves to be in the center of the system. Rather, they understand themselves to be participants, shaping the systems that interact with other forces, ideas, events and other designers