Roadmap 2013: To each her own, in product and in design

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“Everything is design. Everything!” graphic artist Paul Rand famously declared, and it never felt more true than at our Roadmap 2013 design conference in San Francisco. From hardware to software, from our dependent relationships with robots to our dating relationships with other humans, and from industrial design to our underwear, the companies at Roadmap emphasized how design infiltrates our everyday lives in so many different ways.

Design is not new, but it has never felt so good. That’s because although design is broad in application, it’s becoming more personal when it comes to our individual experiences. Designers must also be empaths: Through observation, data and feedback, they figure out what we want and need, and that’s specific to the product and the person it serves.

Perhaps RISD President John Maeda illustrated the situation best when he discussed how Moore’s Law — the idea that technology gets both better and cheaper on a regular…

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