The danger in user-centered design is that it releases the designer of the responsibility for having a vision for the world. Why have one when we can just ask users what they want?
Research is not as simple as asking users what they want. Good research identifies problems that people face, even if they are not explicitly stated as problems. Good research seeks to empathize and understand, not to ask for solutions. So while I don't disagree with the underlying message of this article, I do disagree with the proliferation of the idea that designers can go into a room alone and change the world.