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ICED 11
Papers

Design thinking - a critical analysis

Design thinking - a critical analysis

Year: 2010

Section: REFLECTIONS AND STANDS

Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B

Author: Rodgers, Paul; Winton, Euan

Section: REFLECTIONS AND STANDS

Pages: 42-47

Abstract

The latest buzz phrase to enter the world of design research is “Design Thinking”. But is this anything
new and does it really have any practical or theoretical relevance to the design world? Many sceptics
believe the term has more to do with business strategy and little to do with the complex process of
designing products, services and systems. Moreover, many view the term as misleading and a cheap
attempt to piggyback the world of business management onto design. This paper seeks to ask is
design thinking anything new? Several authors have explicitly or implicitly articulated the term
“Design Thinking” before, such as Peter Rowe’s seminal book “Design Thinking” [1] first published
in 1987 and Herbert Simon’s “The Sciences of the Artificial” [2] first published in 1969. In Tim
Brown’s “Change by Design” [3], design thinking is thought of as a system of three overlapping
spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps namely inspiration – the problem or opportunity that
motivates the search for solutions; ideation – the process of generating, developing and testing ideas;
and implementation – the path that leads from the design studio, lab and factory to the market. This
paper seeks to examine and critically analyse the tenets of this new design thinking manifesto set
against three case studies of modern design practice. As such, the paper will compare design thinking
theory with the reality of design in practice.

Keywords: Design thinking, design processes, design practice

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ds conferenceE&PDE 2010: ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION 2010

E&PDE 2010: ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION 2010The 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education will take place 2-3 September 2010, and will be organised by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway in partnership with the Design Education Special Interest Group (DESIG) of the Design Society and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The conference in 2010 will address the relationship between design education and design research. This year's conference theme, "When...

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Keywords
SIG Workshop - March 2013