Design Is Invisible

Design Is Invisible

Let's take a stroll through Lucius Burckhardt's ideas and explore them in today's digital context

If I had to name the one author, that was most influential to my professional being as designer, then it would be clearly Lucius Burckhardt. At the very beginning of my design studies I salvaged a book titled "Design = invisible". It irritated me, because design is very visible. The name giving essay from Lucius Burckhardt changed my perception of design forever. While the aesthetics of an object are important and the design should embrace the intent, it's the influence on the context the designed object has, that matters most. If you don't consider the system, that your object belongs to, you will fail to produce a good design.

Even worse, you will probably produce more issues and problems to fix. Lucius Burckhardt was a pioneer on systemic design and experience design. He was a thoughtful critic on how planning (including design and architecture) fails to identify the core problems and conclude the right solutions. And while Lucius Burckhardt never dipped into the digital world, he provides good guidance on how to design interfaces and interactions with technology. Because it is not a secluded cyberspace, but an addition to our lives as a whole.

Over the years, I had the opportunity to share his ideas on several occasions as a talk. As of this writing, the last time as addition to the World IA Day 2023 Richmond. Here are the slides for personal use:


Header photo by Martin Bridgen used under a cc-by 2.0 license