Cultivating Professional Identity in Design is a nuanced, comprehensive companion for designers across disciplines honing their identities, self-perception, personal strengths, and essential attributes. Designers’ identities, whether rooted in education, workforce training, digital technology, arts and graphics, built environment, or other fields, are always evolving, influenced by any combination of current mindset, concrete responsibilities, team dynamics, and more. Applicable to designers of all contexts, this inspiring yet rigorous book guides practitioners and students to progress with ten key traits: empathy, uncertainty, creativity, ethics, diversity/equity/inclusion, reflection, learning, communication, collaboration, and decision-making.
Though it details a complete journey from start to finish, this book acknowledges the varying paths of designers’ roles and is structured for a flexible, highly iterative reading experience. Segments can be read individually or out of order and revisited for new insights. Current and future stages of development – education experience, early-career opportunities, mid-career accomplishments, and/or career transitions – are factored in without hierarchy. Specific takeaways, activities, and reflection exercises are intended to work across settings and levels of experience. Design hopefuls and experts alike will find a new way to participate in and persevere through their work.