Design & Me



I’m a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure.

Design is what we do when we don’t know what to do next.  It is the third way; neither science nor art, it is creative rationality and rational creativity. Designing is seeking balance between the forces we cannot control and the needs and desires we are driven to express.

Everyone designs, but professionals benefit from an education and experience that gives them better ways to think and reflect about their work. There are designerly ways of knowing and doing that are universal.  Even though one may have particular experience in one or another kind of design, a true designer is unconstrained by the limits of discipline and field.

The title of this blog comes from a lyric by Bruce Cockburn: The trouble with normal is it always gets worse.