From the trajectory of skyrocketing growth to the great resignation, followed by the tumultuous times of lay-offs and scaling down, the last two and a half years have been incredible times in the design industry.
The world, the industry, and the Echos team have evolved along with it. We work closely with our clients to keep pace with the changes and stay ahead of the curve. Not just for the needs of the world today, but what will be required of us in the future.
Our co-founder and Chief Design Officer Juliana Proserpio shares that, “Design is on the brink of a major expansion of its boundaries. Design teams are core within organisations and is closer to business as usual than ever. As with anything that matures, Design is now about creating discipline, where consistency and rigour is the key theme.”
These learnings are powerful, and we are committed to sharing them with our community. It has inspired us to go deeper not only in the work that we are committed to but how we show up as a brand when we share our work, learnings and what we see as the next steps in the future of design.
We have refreshed our brand look and feel. We have also moved deeper into key focus areas to move the design industry forward and create desirable futures for society. Our brand refresh includes new logos, a colour palette, and a deepening focus on the positive impact design delivers worldwide.
At Echos, we believe that the transformative power of design starts with the individual first. Design’s influence on society begins with the work of each person who creates ripples of transformation as they create positive change through their work. The ripples start with their actions and flow into their relationships, work, and organisations to make systemic change.
This is why we have deepened our focus on our brand pillars. We are still Echos, creating ripples of transformation through our work with individuals and clients. We are primarily doing this through the structure of our offerings: the Desirable Futures Lab and the School.
The Desirable Futures Lab is where we bring all our Design Thinking research and methodologies into practice by combining design and business to help create desirable futures for organisations, people and society. An example of this work is with the Google News Initiative over the past two years. We have created a Design Accelerator to transform News Start Ups in India, Brazil and the APAC region into financially viable sources of truth in a world where fake news and distrust have adversely affected the media landscape. We are building a new future by working with these start-ups to create robust independent news sources. One where facts, authenticity and diversity are combating the harmful effects of fake news.
Echo’s focus on Desirable Futures is driven by our desire to Design our futures. Design futures allows us to engage strategically and navigate an uncertain would. Around the world we are seeing increasing volatility, we must move from a closed and deterministic view based on only what we can see now. Planning for and thinking about the future as a series of possibilities opens us up to understanding how different futures can be created from our present and give us options on how to move forward.
Through guidance and learning, our second brand pillar, the School, will create a new generation of innovators to co-create a new world. All learning experiences utilise Design Thinking principles, allowing individuals and organisations to master the tools and mindsets of innovation and put them into practice. We have created impact through our international Design Leadership Program reaching design professionals all across the globe, helping to mature not only the field of design but redraw the boundaries of what is possible in the field.
In addition to the Design Leadership Program, we run shorter learning experiences. Many individuals and teams have participated in workshops ranging from Design Thinking Foundations to Desirable Futures. Each individual and team we reach through our School becomes another person who has the skills to transform society through the ripple effect of their influence on the systems around them.
Regardless of the project, program or learning experience, there are three core focus areas we will emphasise. Designers will increasingly be called into leadership positions to solve sticky problems; we must consciously design our futures and blend physical and digital experiences to adapt to changing consumer and environmental needs.
These three focus areas of design leadership, designing desirable futures, and phygital (the blend of digital and physical) are a core focus of every project we engage in. From the GNI Design Accelerators to the international reach of our Design Leadership Program, each program provides designers and the world with what we need to move society in a new direction.
As the ripples of our story unfold, we will share and document the transformation of communities worldwide as our work evolves. We are passionate about the positive impact of design and the growth of our industry.
At Echos we are seeing the early impact of design’s influence in new areas. There are small ripples leading to hyper specialisation with the level of complexity and scale of the projects. We see some early steps to embedding design in a broader way in society, such as early school age children learning design principles. And lastly influencing the future of artificial intelligence and blockchain applications. This will also lead to major discussions on ethics and design that is overdue.
Do you have a story of design’s growth and positive impact? Please reach out; we are dedicated to learning and growing with our community and sharing your stories!