Designers with ego or empathy

Over the last few years I have met and spoken to many designers whether landscape architects, architect, industrial or graphic designers and usually people fall into two categories – designers with empathy or designers with ego.

Designers with ego when you discuss or refer to any design (that isn’t theirs) whether it be my own work or someone else’s they are critical or dismissive and start discussing their own work or refer to the object or idea and that circulates around beauty of design or their theory of design.

Designers with empathy in the same situation talk about the design seem eem excited by the design and offer insights and questions about the design. They are also more passionate about process of design, generating ideas, understanding program, how people relate to the space or object and will give you designs with similar ideas or narrative.

I speak to both and find their difference in approaches an interesting problem to deal with and have worked with both in my career. The designer with ego is challenging to work with and pushes the design in terms of its beauty. The designer with empathy is good to work and is more collaborative. Their design design is better as an idea and in its execution, although it may not be the most beautiful design, it will most likely function and be more relatable to the user than the design from those with an ego.