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PHD-DESIGN  March 2013

PHD-DESIGN March 2013

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Subject:

Re: Donald Norman is a Design Thinker

From:

Erik Stolterman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 15:16:59 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi list,
I wrote the text below on my blog yesterday (
http://transground.blogspot.com/)

"Design thinking revisited by Norman

Don Norman has in some earlier writings been quite critical to the notion
of "design thinking", however now he argues that he has changed his mind. I
agree with the new Norman. He makes the case that if we see design thinking
more as a tool or method then he is ok with it. And he is also careful with
stating that it is not the case that all designers are engaged with design
thinking, or that all design schools do teach it. I could not agree more.
Working with designers all over the world I know first hand that design
thinking is not necessarily understood everywhere where the label design is
used. Even worse is that a deeper understanding of design as a human
universal approach (much broader and critical than design thinking) is
almost completely lacking still. But hopefully this is changing in the
years to come.

I have one problem with Norman's new position though. He writes "Two
powerful tools of design thinking summarize the approach: the British
Design Council's "Double-Diamond, Diverge-Converge Model of Design"; and
the iterative process of Observation, Ideation, Prototype, and Test called
"Human-Centered Design." I think it is dangerous to substitute a way of
thinking with a couple of formalized and standardized methods with their
own structure and process. Design thinking to me means a critical stance
that makes it possible to engage with a situation in a way that is suitable
to the context and circumstances. I am sure there are many design
situations that would not be suitable to approach by the Human Centered
Design process that Norman describes. I have seen numerous design process
carried out in an excellent way that in no shape or form resembles that
process. So, design thinking, is about thinking, not about particular tools
or methods, it is the thinking itself that is the tool!"

Best
Erik

*---------------------------------------------------
Erik Stolterman*
*Professor in Informatics*
*School of Informatics and Computing*
*Indiana University, Bloomington
*http://transground.blogspot.com/
<http://www.organizationaldesigncompetence.com/>



On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 9:27 AM, Tiiu Poldma <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>
> 19. 3.13Hello Elizabeth and all,
> Thanks for this very engaging post.( will post also with this WORD
> document attached as well due to some technical issues....)
> As an older "design thinker" from a more traditional background, I like to
> think of design thinking as a broad engagement of people in processes to
> create , as Nelson and Stolterman ( 2012 The Design Way) suggest, the
> "that-which-has-not-yet-been seen"...I realize that in such a quick
> response there are many more ideas to unpack.I do not adhere to design
> thinking as one of three styles, or accounts, but rather a grouping
> together of several processes, and, depending on the discipline(s) a
> particular grouping together of processes with designers ways of thinking
> that are internalized and then externalized somehow when the design is
> manifested.
> But this requires a much longer post. These are not "claims" (my huge
> caveat), just ideas and thoughts as I try myself to understand how design
> thinking occurs. As we cannot "know" what goes on in the mind, design
> "thinking" is a difficult concept to pin down. Yet we have many
> characteristics that you express really nicely here, and others such as
> Charles Burnette, Edouardo Corte Real and others have expressed on this
> list over the years.
> Let me add something to the conversation - in my mind there is no dualism
> of "thinking and knowing" - I have, for some time, suggested that the
> design process , when engaging "thinking and doing" as somewhat concurrent
> processes, engages all the people involved. How this is done ethically,
> systematically, innovatively, etc is another layer added on, and in the
> past people such as Ken Friedman have advocated Buckminster Fullers' idea,
> or some have spoken of "onion layers".
> Some time ago I did a workshop on creative/design thinking with parents in
> an elementary school - we engaged together in the issues of how to get
> their children to work together on their homework, and looked at it as how
> to creatively apply solutions to the problems. Through an engagement of
> different "design thinking" tools by the parents, including model-making,
> mathematical problems of mobius strips, drawing and collage, we explored
> how to do science of math homework differently.
> Hopefully this is what design thinking can be for and how we might
> consider sending it out into the world.
> best
> Tiiu  From a snow day in the blizzard....Montreal!
> Nelson, H. &  Stolterman ( 2012) The Design Way: INtentional Change in an
> Unpredictable World. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Poldma, T. (2009). Taking
> Up Space: Exploring the Design Process. New York: Fairchild
> Publications.Poldma, T ( 2013) ( Ed.) Meanings of Designed Spaces. New
> York: Fairchild Publications.
>
> --------------------------snip--------------------------------
> posted 19.3.13
> Abstract
> > The term design thinking has gained considerable attention over the past
> decade in a wide range of organizations and contexts beyond the traditional
> preoccupations of designers. The main idea is that the ways professional
> designers problem solve is of value to firms trying to innovate and to
> societies trying to make change happen. This paper reviews the origins of
> the term design thinking in research on designers and its adoption by
> management educators and consultancies within a dynamic, global mediatized
> economy. Three main accounts are identified: design thinking as a cognitive
> style, as a general theory of design, and as a resource for organizations.
> The paper then argues there are several issues that undermine the claims
> made for design thinking. The first is how many of these accounts rely on a
> dualism between thinking and knowing, and acting in the world. Second, the
> idea of a generalized design thinking ignores the diversity of designers'
> practices and institutions which are historically situated. The third is
> how design thinking rests on theories of design that privilege the designer
> as the main agent in designing. Instead the paper proposes that attending
> to the situated, embodied routines of designers and others offers a useful
> way to rethink design thinking.
>
> > Elizabeth Guffey
> > http://openscholar.purchase.edu/eguffey/
> > ondesign
> >
> > Founding Editor
> > Design and Culture
> --------------------------------snip-------------------------
>
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