in Business Design

Design envy

You know, I think the phrase design thinking is an oxymoron. The design mindset is synonomous with making and doing; it’s more action-oriented than merely talking and thinking. This is yet another reason to reframe design thinking.

A friend of mine studying psychology says many in that field have physics envy: they want the capability of massively sophisticated quantitative methods. I think that however I end up reframing design thinking should still inspire design envy.

  1. I don’t think design thinking is oxymoronic, although it may be tautological. Thinking need not condition all it attaches to as cerebral and passive. “Mere talking,” on the other hand, should certainly not be so swiftly dimissed from the domain of design. It seems to me that issues of communication and language have never been so important to design. I think we should be careful not to romanticize any disciplinary bent. What I have sensed among those who have been using the term “design thinking” is a struggle to use “design” to bring a collection of humanizing concerns to thinking, strategy and business AND the intuition that design’s more aesthetic inclinations could be made more powerful if generated from some deep thinking about “wicked problems.”

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