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Less fear and more determination

Change is scary. And so are new ideas. Today, our lives are filled with both.The good news is that designers can make change less scary by making circumstances easier to understand. We also help manage the risk inherent in new ideas by making them real, tangible and concrete. Once real, ideas can be tested and evaluated, providing organizations with insight into potential success or failure.

Designers all over the nation create beautiful, functional and delightful things that improve lives. The U.S. National Design Policy Initiative exists to encourage the government’s use of design in order to improve U.S. democratic governance and economic competitiveness. Simply put, a national design policy offers a unified vision for how citizens and government can work together to design a better nation.

I’ve given much of my time and energy in service of the initiative, as a facilitator of the Design Policy Summit, researcher of the Federal Design Improvement of the 1970s, designer of the 10 policy proposals document and of the Summit Report.

This video reaffirms my support and briefly explains my thoughts on the importance of design and design policy for America’s future.

Check out other videos by design policy supporters on Facebook and YouTube.


Hi, my name is Matt Muñoz and I’m a designer and partner in New Kind, based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As the makers of things, designers play a crucial role in the creation and communication of ideas and meaning. We form the products, messages and environments people experience every day.

Designers can make information accessible and relevant in ways that encourage trust and that manage the inherent risk of new ideas.

1) What role does design play in US economic competitiveness?

Designers help companies compete better.

We give form to the brands — the reputations — that people love and respect.

We collaborate on teams to make smart, relevant and delightful things that connect emotionally and perform brilliantly.

Companies that utilize the value of design can change the rules of business by building products and services that provide superior consumer experiences,which enable them to outpace competition.

Designers also encourage the American entrepreneurial spirit.

By makings new ideas real, entrepreneurs can better understand how their ideas compete in the market. Once these ideas become market-tested innovations, entrepreneurs can more efficiently grow their businesses and create jobs.

If more US companies utilized design to create superior experiences, they will gain more value in the global marketplace, and thus make the US more economically competitive.

2) What role does design play in US democratic governance?

Designers help the U.S. government engage citizens in democratic experiences.

We can clarify complex issues by visualizing them in concrete ways. We can build platforms for participation, so that citizens can play a larger role in the creation of public policy. We can improve democratic processes so that they become more efficient and accessible.

Through the things we create, we can make government more transparent and trustworthy.

3) In what specific ways, would a national design policy further enable design to play those roles?

To make certain that our best days are ahead of us, citizens must be able to see and believe in future opportunities, and understand one’s role in building them.

A national design policy is a unified vision illustrating how we, as a nation, can design our future to be socially, environmentally and financially sustainable.

This vision — comprised of many different activities and public policies — would enable citizens to understand and act towards a sustainable future. It could spread good ideas from where they are born, to the places they are needed.

4) What would you pledge to do to help design play that role?

Today, we need less fear and more determination.

As a designer, through the things that i create, I pledge to make change less scary by making it easier to understand. I pledge to encourage trust by making processes transparent. I pledge to make organizations more successful by making the design process more accessible.

In summary, I pledge my time and energy, in any capacity, in service of the US National Design Policy Initiative.

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