Design Thinking

by admin on August 11, 2009

Design Thinking

Fig. Design Thinking Diagram

In August Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, shared some of his recent thinking around the idea of Design Thinking to the audience at TED. I think it has interesting implications for the role of the individual designer. He references Roger Martin, from the Toronto Business School, who pioneered the concept of the art of integrative thinking which is “the ability to exploit apposing ideas and apposing constraints to create new solutions.” What Brown says that means for design is “balancing desirability (what humans need) with technical feasibility and economic viability.”

I wonder if this balance is something the design industry as a whole should strive for or if it can also be possessed by the individual. On the one hand, my previous posts, such as Zen and the Art of Logo Design, would suggest that quality can really only be achieved by going deeply into one discipline, having a “core capacity”, or the vertical part of the “T” Brown often mentions. Would taking an integrative approach force one to become a “jack of all trades, master of none”? Maybe not. Maybe the core capacity of the integrative designer could be simply that: the ability to connect or integrate seemingly unrelated disciplines in a way that creates a novel solution. ß

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