Design Leadership

01 Jul 2003|Davis Masten

At the AIGA leadership conference this last weekend in Austin, I walked away with two things of note. One, the work of outgoing president, Clement Mok, has been most impressive. Clement came in as president in the deepest darkest hours the design and creative business has seen in decades. At his departure he leaves with this institution, founded in 1914, with a good balance sheet, strong local leadership, a vision for “designing” which has a place for all designers to impact business more effectively, and over 16,000 members nationally. While there is much to be done by every member to take the organization to the next level, Clement added his brilliance, many miles on the road and collaborative skills to giving AIGA a future many thought not possible when he became president. Great job Clement!

Secondly, the new national board now has on it a strong proportion of women designers. Personally, I think that too much of the designing in the world has been done by men. My rationale is simple. The vast majority of disposable household income is controlled by women. The demands on American women to feel successful increase every year. Still, the “woman of the house” is primarily responsible for the kids, the cleaning, the communication with relatives, and a zillion other things. I know that for what it takes for me to be considered a “great Dad” is so much less than what it is for my wife to be considered a “great Mom”. So the pressures are different. In our time compressed society I think that women are better able to intuit these pressures and effectively address them than most guys. So with more and powerful women at the helm of designing our world, I think the economy will grow just a bit faster.

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