The Artful Designer: Creating for Commerce and Culture

A presentation at Designthinkers Toronto in in Toronto, ON, Canada by Nuff

We often hear that design is not art, yet so many of us enter the field precisely through that gateway. While we may be instructed to think of our work as functional and utilitarian, there is also space for play, expression, experimentation and wonder.

What happens when we stop playing design and art against each other? What approaches and mindsets can designers steal from the art world? How can designers push cultural conversations forward?

Bruno Munari, once described by Picasso as “the new Leonardo”, wrote that “the artist must step down from his pedestal and be prepared to make a sign for a butcher’s shop”. Perhaps the opposite is also true—designers must be ready to engage in cultural discourse.

Referencing artful design practices past and present, we will explore what it means to be an artful designer.

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