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BBI of Chicago
January 2022

Profession Design: aspects of creativity in problem solving and negotiating for sales

By: Suélen Serafin.

A designer can work in different areas: interior design, graphic design, fashion design, product design, etc. The role of a designer, regardless of their area of ​​expertise, is assisting in solving a customer's problem. But what characterizes a problem? A problem is a need! In other words, a problem is a customer's need. This exchange of words also allows removing a lot of pressure on the brain of a design professional (MUNARI, 2002). It is also important to know that each need has a certain degree of complexity, which linearly increases the designer's responsibility. However, the degree of complexity of a proposed solution is not defined by the problem's degree of complexity. A complex need can have a simple solution, and on the other hand, a simple need can demand a highly complex solution (MUNARI, 2002; WEDELL-WEDELLSBORG, 2021).

In general, the training of a designer encourages them to be highly creative in developing a solution, be it simple or complex. And it is creativity that differentiates the professional and generates demand in the job market. However, it is important to emphasize that such required creativity must not initially start from the revolutionary premise. To simplify the creative process, I like to think that a creative solution is a 'sustainable solution': a solution in which the customer's needs are met within three pillars common to all areas: economic, social, and environmental. This means that the solution must be economically and technically viable, being desirable at a lower cost linked to a simple or adaptable production process. The social demands of the client must be met, and a high indirect or direct social impact solution can be scaled beyond the client. Finally, the solution should not cause negative environmental impact, while positive environmental impacts are highly desirable (MUNARI, 2002).

In negotiation, understanding a need allows you to have arguments to support and prepare a proposal with lines or examples of solutions to be reached. Furthermore, exploring the reflections of solutions on areas where the customer does not expect them and that can differentiate you from others. In a creative negotiation, the designer must work the client's need to the point of creating the desire for the solution to be generated; A solution that only that professional can come up with and one that will guarantee customer success. Therefore, the client's perception that the designer understands the dimension of their need in the field of desires is fundamental. Doing this allows for customer involvement at visceral, behavioral, and reflective levels not only in the design process but in negotiation (NORMAN, 2008). Therefore, the creative differential is desirable not only in the post-sales process but when negotiating as well. Selling design is working on the development of real solutions in the field of human desires. For such professionals, there is a need to understand creativity, negotiation, and psychology in a holistic way (NORMAN, 2008; LANG; MAGALHÃES, 2019).


LANG, Rodrigo; MAGALHÃES, João. Negotiation MAP: o framework de negociação que vem revolucionando o mercado. [S.l.]: Business Behavior Institute. 2019. 77 p.

MUNARI, Bruno. Das coisas nascem coisas. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2002. 378 p.

NORMAN, Donald A. Design emocional: por que adoramos (ou detestamos) os objetos do dia-a-dia. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2008. 278 p.

WEDELL-WEDELLSBORG, Thomas. Qual é o seu problema?: para resolver seus problemas mais difíceis, mude os problemas que você resolve. São Paulo: Benvirá, 2021. 224 p.


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