The Intersection of Personal Priorities and the Future of Design



Aug 07, 20234 min read


The Intersection of Personal Priorities and the Future of Design

In our busy lives, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and forget about the big picture. Dr. Stephen R. Covey, in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," introduced the concept of the "big rocks." These are the important things in our lives that often get overlooked or pushed aside if we don't prioritize them. Covey uses an analogy of filling a jar with rocks, pebbles, and sand to illustrate the importance of putting the big rocks in first. The same principle applies to our lives – if we don't prioritize the important things, they will never get done.

So, what are your big rocks? Is it a project you've been meaning to start? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, education, or finances? It's crucial to identify these big rocks and make them a priority. As the saying goes, "put these 'Big Rocks' in first or you'll never get them in at all." This idea resonates with the concept of prioritizing personal goals and aspirations.

Now, let's shift our focus to the future of design and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). The rise of AI has sparked discussions and debates about its potential to disrupt various industries, including design. The New York Times recently reported that Carnegie Mellon University is establishing a research center focused on the ethics of AI. This news alone is evidence that AI is here to stay and will significantly shape the future.

One of the first impacts of AI on design is that more and more non-designers will develop their creativity and social intelligence skills to enhance their employability. This means that designers will need to bring additional knowledge and expertise to the table to stay competitive. We may even witness a rise in exotic specializations within the design field.

Furthermore, the role of designers may transition from being creators to curators. In architecture, the parametric movement known as Parametricism 2.0 showcases the potential of technologically enhanced creativity. We can already see the implications of this movement in the gaming industry, where designers are creating virtual environments and cities. Games like "No Man's Sky" rely on procedurally generated designs, where the designer's role is to set goals, parameters, and constraints for the AI to fine-tune and review.

In the future, designers may use AI tools to solve design problems by training them based on their preferences. We can envision a time when designers input behavior goals and ask the AI system to design a solution framework that overcomes anticipated issues like confirmation bias and the empathy gap. However, this doesn't mean that human designers will become obsolete. The design industry's superstars will likely remain unaffected, just as we saw in the print and graphic design world when desktop publishing software emerged. The demand for top-tier designers will continue to increase, as the appreciation for design grows among the general population.

As we embrace the potential of AI in design, we must also consider the unique challenges and opportunities that arise. Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are becoming the next frontier for design. How we interact with each other and create shared experiences in these virtual spaces will require skills like creative and social intelligence that are not easily outsourced to AI. Human designers will play a crucial role in shaping these interactions and ensuring a meaningful and engaging user experience.

Moreover, AI can amplify our creativity as individuals and across professions. Imagine a future where our personal AI assistants constantly critique our work, suggesting ideas and areas for improvement. Problem-solving bots could help us see problems from different perspectives and frameworks, enhancing our problem-solving abilities. This collaboration between humans and AI has the potential to revolutionize the design industry.

In conclusion, the concept of prioritizing big rocks in our personal lives aligns with the future of design and the impact of AI. By identifying and prioritizing our personal goals and aspirations, we can ensure that we make time for the important things. Similarly, designers must adapt and develop additional skills to stay competitive in an AI-driven world. The role of designers may shift from creators to curators, but their expertise and creativity will remain invaluable. As we embrace AI in design, we must also recognize the unique challenges and opportunities it presents. By harnessing the power of AI, we can amplify our creativity and problem-solving abilities, creating a future where humans and technology work together harmoniously.

Actionable Advice:

1. Identify your big rocks – what are the important things in your life that you often overlook? Make a list and prioritize them.

2. Embrace lifelong learning – as AI continues to shape the design industry, it's crucial to stay updated and acquire additional knowledge and expertise.

3. Embrace collaboration between humans and AI – instead of fearing the rise of AI, explore ways to leverage its capabilities to amplify your creativity and problem-solving abilities.


  1. "The "Big Rocks" of Life by Dr. Stephen R. Covey", (Glasp)
  2. "AI and the Future of Design: What will the designer of 2025 look like? – Artefact", (Glasp)

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