Reliable Magic: How business can benefit from architects' design thinking + doing
How business can beneﬁt from
architects’ design thinking + doing
For architects, design thinking involves collabora3ng with clients and
colleagues to develop inspired visions and be6er planning solu3ons.
We must deliver projects within a deadline and a budget.
This requires a rigorous and reliable design process.
We call this rigorous crea3ve process “reliable magic.”
Our process aims to work with human nature, rather than
a?empt to overcome it.
Here are 10
prac3ces that can
be applied to
the world of
Design with–not for–your cons3tuents.
Engage in dialogue aimed at building
deep‐seated understanding so that people
“believe in” rather than “buy in.”
Iden3fy shared interests.
It’s not necessary for people to agree on
all aspects of the project. Instead, jointly
deﬁne points of common interest for
Re‐frame the ques3on.
Most iniKal project deﬁniKons aim too
low and present falsely limiKng either/or
Don’t jump to the end of the story.
Jumping to conclusions and short‐
circuiKng a shared learning curve leads
to weak answers and shaky support.
Invite divergent thinking.
Avoid self‐limiKng choices between exisKng
opKons by exploring fast, cheap iteraKons
in a ﬂuid learn/adjust/repeat process.
Learn to appreciate uncertainty.
Allow ideas to emerge in a natural
process of dialogue and inquiry, rather
than defend pre‐conceived soluKons.
Ask: what else can we see here?
Rather than re‐arrange exisKng pieces of
a puzzle, look beyond obvious, linear
soluKons to see pa?erns, variaKons,
combinaKons and deviaKons.
Don’t get too a6ached, too soon.
Avoid emoKonal a?achments to early
ideas–especially ones that are developed
while working alone. Instead, set these
ideas free to evolve through a process of
dialogue and inquiry.
Expect some resistance.
It is a given that new ideas will be adopted
a diﬀerent rates by diﬀerent people. Aim to
work through natural resistance with
dialogue and inquiry rather than a?empt to
Adop3ng ideas is a process, not an event.
The digesKon process for new ideas can be
seen as similar to digesKng food: it’s be?er to
create an appeKte for bite‐sized pieces than
force‐feed in quanKty.
A BUSINESS PROCESS FOR
Farrow Partnership Architects