Food for Thought

DinnerSomeone I was talking to over the weekend was saying that he felt that design is currently “over-supplied,” meaning, I guess, that in this market there is an overabundance of available design services, talent and studios. I started thinking about what that meant, really, and I have a feeling that a lot of thinking and postulation about the design business relies too heavily on the idea that design is basically the same as a service business — like say McKinsey — or a product business — like say Nike.

But I’ve started thinking — and this theory is still less than a week old, and I have yet to properly flesh it out — that design is most like the restaurant industry, which is a multibillion dollar business, and which allows for the co-existence of multiple levels of success, from mass-market chains to speciality boutiques. The more I think about it, the more I like this model, because the restaurant business is highly varied, is not a zero sum game, and everybody needs to eat, just like everybody needs design.