Tim Daugherty / Studio DPA / Principal / BSLA, ASU, 1997 / 04.12.18

Where is design going?

I hope there is greater emphasis on land use efficiency.   It seems like there is tremendous potential in figuring out what to do with under-utilized parking lots, dying golf courses, retention basins, old malls, vacant land, etc.    It’s a giant void that will logically need to be filled by designers spanning multiple disciplines.

How can design education be more relevant?

Engagement with the professional community and forums like this certainly help.   The university has been good about bringing professionals to campus, but I wonder if it could also go the other direction – be more circular.   Is there a way to soften the boundaries between academia and private practice?

What are the future skillsets designers need to learn now?

It’s easy to get enamored by the latest tech, software, 3d printing, etc.  But I get the sense that going forward there might be real value in enhancing design skills by knowing how to use a shovel, pencil and hammer.

What should a design school do to prepare students for transdisciplinary work?

Mitigate ego early on.   Maybe we are designers first, and planners, landscape architects, engineers, and architects second.  It’s still jarring to me to see how often professionals within the design community don’t actually know what other disciplines do.

What should a design school do to forward equity and inclusion?

I see it already, certainly within my discipline.   Beyond that recognize how other cultures and regions approach this challenge.  I’ve been fortunate to work on projects around the world and it’s been both alarming and inspiring to see the differences and similarities.


Tim Daugherty

Studio DPA


BSLA, ASU, 1997

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