The Editors | Twenty Years of Design Observer


Financial crisis
From The Design of Business | The Business of Design S3E4: Timothy Geithner

Balancing all that is economic with all that’s ergonomic, reconciling what the market can bear (and what the client will pay for), designers are creative (by nature) and capitalists (by necessity), ever-vigilant to the relationships between cause and effect, inputs and outcomes, here and now and later. Enter fintech: from A (ApplePay?) to Z (Zelle?) to a host of cryptocurrencies we haven’t even seen yet, design’s role in the service of modern finance is critical to our understanding not only of the economy, but of entire economies of scale, work that begins, as it must, with serious inquiry. What happens when the things we make and buy result in unintended consequences? How can we better understand the practical dimensions of what works—for whom, by whom? Perhaps most urgently: what is fintech, and why should we care? What began as a fairly cryptic system utilized by fringe groups, writes Laura Scherling, has expanded into a plethora of designed products and services, revered, scorned, and debated widely. True, to observe design is to debate design, and with an economic crisis that has redoubled the world’s commitment to building a more equitable future—a phrase our editors wrote back in the comparatively dark ages of 2009—why stop now?

This look back into our archive is part of our Twentieth Anniversary celebration.

Posted in: Business

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