The Future of Design Communications

Stephen Bau
9 min readJun 22, 2021
The Scream by Kent Monkman, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 84” x 126”. Collection of the Denver Art Museum.

The recent announcement of the changes planned for the Graphic Designers of Canada is a welcome evolution in the advocacy for the value of design in Canadian society.

Take part in the journey and express what the future of design communications means to you.

The Journey

I accepted an invitation in May 2020 to join the GDC BC Chapter Executive Board as Chair of Web Communications.

In our Slack channel, I expressed my appreciation for the work that has been done so far on the new strategic direction of the organization.

It was great to hear the presentations on the roll out of the new brand redesign and website as a participatory design project.

I might have preferred that the entire process was participatory, but I can also recognize that it might have been a luxury for a volunteer organization faced with constraints on time, energy, and resources.

Over the past 32 years, I have been working as a professional designer in various capacities, and I am grateful to those I have had an opportunity to work with, as these personal interactions have been essential to my growth as a person and as a designer.

My experience as a designer has not been filled with award-winning work, though there have been some. I suppose that if awards had been my goal, I would have chosen a very different pathway along my career journey. Instead, my focus was on the learning process and following my curiosity about how communication works and how to become proficient at the practice of design.

My curiosity has been motivated primarily by my own perceived deficiencies in the skills of communication, having been emotionally and socially stunted by my childhood, which was constrained by a general lack of engaged participation in family, church, school, and civic life beyond the role of audience to parents, pastors, teachers, and peers.

Stephen Bau

Designer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective. We are exploring how we imagine, design, and build the future together.