If you doubt that design matters, ask Al Gore. A study by eight news organizations following the disastrous 2000 presidential election found that poor ballot design cost Gore anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 votes in Florida, more than enough to clinch the election. Enter Marcia Lausen, principal of Chicago's Studio/lab. Shortly after the 2000 debacle, she helped launch an initiative called Design for Democracy, which seeks nothing less than to redesign the entire voting experience, from voter education to poll-worker training. Lausen has redesigned ballots for Cook County in Illinois and for the state of Oregon, creating clean, easy-to-use forms out of dense, confusing government documents. "Thinking that 'design' means 'decoration,' most election officials do not enlist professional designers in the development process," says Lausen. Maybe she should consider making a trip to Florida right now.
- Peak Performers: Four masters who are leading the world of design
- Impact Players: Four high-impact projects that shaped the year in design—and the people who launched them
- William McDonough, Principal and founder, William McDonough + Partners
- Tom Ford , Former Creative Director, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent
- Jonathan Ive, Vice President of Industrial Design, Apple Computer Inc.
- Marcia Lausen, Founding member, AIGA Design for Democracy
- Game Changers: The risk takers and agitators who are rewriting the rules
- Collaborators: Champions who help make great design happen
- Robyn Waters, Founder and president of RW Trend, LLC
- Kun-Hee Lee, Chairman and CEO, Samsung electronics
- Sam Farber, Founder, Copco, OXO, and Wovo
- Bob Porter, Executive Vice President, SSM Health Care
- Next Generation: Meet four rising stars who are charting the future
- A Jury of Their Peers
- Introducing 11 jurors—top leaders from universities, cultural institutions, and business—who helped us select our 20 Masters of Design.
- Lessons From the Masters
- These five ideas will help you incorporate design principles in your work — and better connect with customers and colleagues.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2004 issue of Fast Company