Why is Ian Chalmers an RGD?
Creative Director of Pivot Design Group in Toronto shares how RGD has helped enforce ethical business practices and the importance of advocating for the design industry. 


I spent the last few, 20+ years as a design thinker, maker of things and as a business owner.


In our early days we would produce spec work to win opportunities with prospective clients. As a company we wanted to say no, but didn't feel we had the clout to do so. Then, in 2007 I was reintroduced to RGD and the benefits of membership - the benefits of being part of a professional organization that stands for designers and our key ethical principles.


Too often, I face clients who expect designers to provide solutions before actually exploring the problem at hand. Designers are not only doers - we’re thinkers too. Good design is not just about aesthetics. It’s about understanding how audiences and organizations interact in the context of a complex marketplace. All work at Pivot stems from this realization and our design solutions are always grounded in solid research.


Over years of membership, we have benefitted from the principles, policies and advocacy work provided by the RGD. We defend our unique approach by referring clients and prospects to the “No Spec” policy statements. These, and other principles, aid my design studio in upholding a set of beliefs that is backed by an entire profession.


Being RGD has taught me that design defence is business offence.