I was thinking this morning how design in schools was at one point called "communication design."
The labels of design classes change as they chase the pattern of the industries designers work in. But there is truth in the idea that design is about communicating something to people.
While artists for thousands of years have learned that listening and observation are critical. And in a sense, the Stanford Design school and other organizations made listening famous in the design and business world in recent decades through the heightened awareness of empathy.
I wonder, when schools taught communication design" how many classes were introduced at this time on "design listening"?
At some point, professional designers learn that what they make is a product of what they listen to.
Once you know this, you can intake and be influenced by the world passively or learn how to be active in your efforts to listen to and understand others.
The best designers I know are professional question-askers.