Alice Hawthorn discusses Creative Solutions in Tough Times in the International Herald Tribune "...the recession will also create opportunities for designers to help us to adjust to economic austerity. Consumers will still want to score sustainability points, but to save money while doing so. The new cadre of "service designers," who apply design thinking to help organizations structure themselves more efficiently and behave differently, will be called upon to develop new business models to address this.
The economic crisis has also squashed any lingering doubts about the urgency of finding new ways to address acute social problems more efficiently - from caring for the expanding elderly population, to improving the management of over-stretched health care services. This newfound realism is already benefiting the emerging breed of "social designers."
Another question is whether designers are ready to respond to these challenges, as "service" and "social" design involve very different skills to conventional design practice..."