Jun 2013Michael Eckersley, PhDDemystifying Design Thinking:On the origins, applications and implications of how designers ...
“demystifying design innovation”who doesn’t love a good mystery?especially one close to home?
•when did design get interestingto people other than designers?•when did the uniqueness in howdesigners think and act beco...
•World War II
•RAND•SRI•war gaming•Mutually Assured Destruction•equilibrium•standoff
•problem structure•design problems tend to be“ill-structured”, messy problemswith ambiguous givens, goals,obstacles•such c...
Herbert Simon•“Design is a complexproblem solving processwhereby artifacts arestructured to attain goals”
•creativity research•creative characteristics•fluency•flexibility•advertising industry•Synectics
•mind as black box•impenetrable•exotic•mysterious•capricious•irreplicable
•my research:•controlled•empirical•results:•not just more fluency•nut just more flexibility•better ideas•better results
•design thinking combinescharacteristics of empathy,integrative thinking,optimism, experimentalism,and collaboration (Brow...
1. The ability to understand thecontext of circumstances of adesign problem and frame themin an insightful way2. The abili...
4. An approach to problemsolving that involves thesimultaneous creation andevaluation of multiplealternatives5. The abilit...
6. The ability to establishpurposeful relationships amongelements of a solution andbetween the solution and itscontext7. T...
Tim Brown, IDEOWhat is design? It can be materialor conceptual, and is experiencedas beauty, value and meaning.Unlike the ...
Tim Brown, IDEO•so why does any of this matter?•the past is “solved”•the future is a mystery, not apuzzle•solving for effi...
Tim Brown, IDEOThe future catches us shortbecause we don’t have goodstories to tell about about it. Andbecause the future ...
•“design thinking” isn’t“magical thinking”•its integrative•design isn’t mystical•done well it can shape thefuture of thing...
•on design school•advanced design practice•the shelf-life of professionaltraining•getting/staying in the game
Business schools focus on theanalytic. Engineering focuseson the specific. Designfocuses on the visual. A newkind of profe...
•what do designers want?•what do you offer the worldthat others don’t?•are you prepared to deliverwhat’s needed?
Michael Bierut in DesignObserver:It was September, 1981, when design critic RalphCaplan first unveiled the phrase. He was s...
“There is a huge river of misunderstanding betweenthe design world and the business world. You haveto start building a bri...
As designers, realism and practicality are survivalskills. But we don’t have to cynical about the ends ofdesign. Cynicism ...
Jun 2013Michael Eckersley, PhDDemystifying Design Thinking:On the origins, applications and implications of how designers ...
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Demystifying Design Thinking: On the origins, applications and implications of how designers think, by Michael Eckersley, PhD

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Demystifying Design Thinking: On the origins, applications and implications of how designers think

  1. 1. Jun 2013Michael Eckersley, PhDDemystifying Design Thinking:On the origins, applications and implications of how designers think
  2. 2. “demystifying design innovation”who doesn’t love a good mystery?especially one close to home?
  3. 3. •when did design get interestingto people other than designers?•when did the uniqueness in howdesigners think and act becomesomehow sexy?
  4. 4. •World War II
  5. 5. •RAND•SRI•war gaming•Mutually Assured Destruction•equilibrium•standoff
  6. 6. •problem structure•design problems tend to be“ill-structured”, messy problemswith ambiguous givens, goals,obstacles•such complex problems andsuch complex problem-solvingcame to be of great interest toresearchers working oncomplex Cold War gamingscenarios
  7. 7. Herbert Simon•“Design is a complexproblem solving processwhereby artifacts arestructured to attain goals”
  8. 8. •creativity research•creative characteristics•fluency•flexibility•advertising industry•Synectics
  9. 9. •mind as black box•impenetrable•exotic•mysterious•capricious•irreplicable
  10. 10. •my research:•controlled•empirical•results:•not just more fluency•nut just more flexibility•better ideas•better results
  11. 11. •design thinking combinescharacteristics of empathy,integrative thinking,optimism, experimentalism,and collaboration (Brown,2008). To think like adesigner, one mustdemonstrate thesecharacteristics in order tocreate for others withinparameters, given a specificdeadline.
  12. 12. 1. The ability to understand thecontext of circumstances of adesign problem and frame themin an insightful way2. The ability to work at a level ofabstraction appropriate to thesituation at hand3. The ability to model andvisualize solutions even withimperfect information – Chris Conley, IITDesign thinking is design activity embracedby a broader group.
  13. 13. 4. An approach to problemsolving that involves thesimultaneous creation andevaluation of multiplealternatives5. The ability to add or maintainvalue as pieces are integratedinto a whole– Chris Conley, IITDesign thinking is design activity embracedby a broader group.
  14. 14. 6. The ability to establishpurposeful relationships amongelements of a solution andbetween the solution and itscontext7. The ability to use form toembody ideas and tocommunicate their value– Chris Conley, IITDesign thinking is design activity embracedby a broader group.
  15. 15. Tim Brown, IDEOWhat is design? It can be materialor conceptual, and is experiencedas beauty, value and meaning.Unlike the fine arts, design has aneveryday use, so it must excel atboth form and function. Its alsointellectual property and culturalcapital, which is why it ladders theentire economic value chain.Patrick Whitney
  16. 16. Tim Brown, IDEO•so why does any of this matter?•the past is “solved”•the future is a mystery, not apuzzle•solving for efficiency is easy•solving for innovation is hard•innovation takes a differentmindset
  17. 17. Tim Brown, IDEOThe future catches us shortbecause we don’t have goodstories to tell about about it. Andbecause the future concealsanswers to big strategicquestions, our ability to shapethe future is dependent on ourability to tell powerful,penetrating stories.–Daniel Kahneman
  18. 18. •“design thinking” isn’t“magical thinking”•its integrative•design isn’t mystical•done well it can shape thefuture of things, sometimesin magical ways
  19. 19. •on design school•advanced design practice•the shelf-life of professionaltraining•getting/staying in the game
  20. 20. Business schools focus on theanalytic. Engineering focuseson the specific. Designfocuses on the visual. A newkind of professional isneeded. What would it be?–Chris Conley
  21. 21. •what do designers want?•what do you offer the worldthat others don’t?•are you prepared to deliverwhat’s needed?
  22. 22. Michael Bierut in DesignObserver:It was September, 1981, when design critic RalphCaplan first unveiled the phrase. He was speakingat a Design Management Institute conference inMartha’s Vineyard. His talk was titled “Once YouKnow Where Management Is Coming From, WhereDo You Suggest They Go?”“I want finally to address in some detail,” Caplansaid toward the end of this talk, “a role that I call‘the designer as exotic menial.’ He is exoticbecause of the presumed mystery inherent inwhat he does, and menial because whatever hedoes is required only for relatively low-levelobjectives, to be considered only after the realbusiness decisions are made. And although this isa horrendous misuse of the designer and of thedesign process, it is in my experience always donewith the designer’s collusion.”It’s 25 years later. Has anything really changed?•for a long time–and still todayfor many–design was deemedperipheral, an “exotic menial”
  23. 23. “There is a huge river of misunderstanding betweenthe design world and the business world. You haveto start building a bridge between them.”“What designers need to learn–and this is the mostimportant thing– is the language of the businessworld. Only by learning that language can youeffectively voice the arguments for design.”–Peter Gorb, London Business School, 1993•business has an fundamentalproblem with the future, whiledesign is almost entirelyabout the future•this yin-yang relationshipmakes for strange bedfellows
  24. 24. As designers, realism and practicality are survivalskills. But we don’t have to cynical about the ends ofdesign. Cynicism is the great enemy. I was originallytrained as an artist, and then later on I discoveredthe world of business, and I liked it, because I couldsee it as a form of conceptual art, like that ofDuchamp or Baldessari. Done well and imaginatively,it’s powerfully beneficial to many interests. Donepoorly, it’s stultifying and rapacious.Design blends aspects of art, science and thehumanities, and therefore has the capacity tohumanize the world of things: products, services,systems, and experiences.Design’s rising influence raises the stakes fordesigners, bringing greater responsibility andaccountability. Are you up for it?
  25. 25. Jun 2013Michael Eckersley, PhDDemystifying Design Thinking:On the origins, applications and implications of how designers think
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