The designer’s practice is subject to ever-increasing demands in the accelerating transformations and complexities of our time. A designer's competence requires continuous renewal and realignment, yet it contains several permanent qualities. The purpose of this article is to create a holistic picture of the competence of a successful designer. This article shows how a designer's competence is constructed of four factors: cognitive, social, emotional, and functional. Cognitive factors include several characteristics required for design thinking, especially creativity, and the ability to produce new insights and the ability to cope with uncertainty. Design is a social process, where interaction skills and the ability to collaborate are crucial in a co-design approach to collective creativity. The designer's positive feelings, attitudes and enthusiasm promote design thinking, problem-solving and innovation. Functional factors, such as good knowledge and skills, are essential tools for the development of the design. These promote the designer's work satisfaction and well-being. The success of a designer requires multi-faceted competence, and success does not only depend on personal characteristics. Success is influenced by the environment in which the designer works. A good atmosphere of the work community, support and encouragement promotes success for all parties involved in the design process.
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