Iskander unfairly trashes ‘designerly ways of knowing’ in HBR

Designing way out of a maze

Howard Frederick writes:  The  linked article by Natasha Iskander in Harvard Business Review is an example of ‘Design Thinking Irredentism’.  Irredentism is a movement that seeks to claim/reclaim and occupy lost territory. Iskander seeks to foment the discontent of managers against ‘outsiders’, that new corps of designers that is revolutionizing everything from business models to personal life directions.  She fails to recognize that ‘designerly ways of knowing’ is as important as the scientific method.

Her major defense is that there’s nothing new about Design Thinking; it’s all just a modern rehash of the scientific method, or what she calls the ‘rational-experimental’ approach.… Read the rest

A geodesic sphere

Buckminster Fuller: The first author in design thinking

Buckminster Fuller, the first design thinker

entreVersity writes: How many of you designers are aware of the first design thinker? The 1960s was heralded as the ‘design science decade’ by the radical technologist Buckminster Fuller, who called for a ‘design science revolution’ based on science, technology, and rationalism to overcome the human and environmental problems that he believed could not be solved by politics and economics. He called it ‘anticipatory design science’, which he defined as human practice that would align men and women to the conscious design of our total environment, making Earth’s finite resources meet the needs of humanity without disrupting the ecological processes of the planet.… Read the rest

Thoughts and Design

Definition of Design: A Verb or a Noun?

Howard Frederick writes:  What is the definition of Design?  Design Thinking is a slippery concept.  As a noun, design has two meanings: either a scheming plan, aim, intention, goal, or purpose; or a concept, drawing, shape, sketch, or blueprint – even the entire finished product. As a verb, it also has two meanings: either to scheme, connive, plan, devise, or intend; or to invent, create, fabricate, or build. So, we could say ‘our design (purpose or intention) is to design (create or fabricate) the design (sketch or blueprint) of a design (finished outcome or product)!   You can step into the semantics of design here: Hardt, M.… Read the rest

Empathy Mapping to match customer needs

Model of empathy mapping
Model of empathy mapping

entreVersity writes:  This article gives a quick and graphic introduction to empathy mapping.  Design thinking is the opposite of the manager’s data-driven analysis because empathy means a focus on the human angle. Managers pay little attention to how to use customer co-creation and feedback to turn their new ideas into a business model that can be shared with a larger group.*  Why does empathy matter? The market is flooded with products that hope to respond to consumers’ ever-changing needs. Research shows that customer co-creation or co-production (achieved through empathy) has a positive effect on the outcome of new production development because it results in a better fit to a customer’s preferences.Read the rest

How to promote the enterprising mind-set amongst students

Howard Frederick’s definition of the ‘enterprising mind-set’

Howard Frederick writes:  In my teaching I have always sought ways to make my students more ‘enterprising’, in the personality mind-set sense.  This means from Art to Zoology, every student can create an (ad)venture, be it social, environmental, business, or whatever.

They move from engaged to empowered. They become problem-solvers. They grow more empathetic. . . . They remain curious. They develop a maker mindset. They define themselves as problem-solvers.


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Design Thinking for Suicide Prevention

By Édouard Manet –

Howard Frederick writes: If design thinking is so human-centred, why not start with the most important thing:  your life. Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us that we would like to live. Between the two stands resistance. This is where suicide prevention comes in.  How to get from one to the other? ‘We are all capable of reinvention’, according to Bernard Roth, one of the founders of Stanford’s and author of the book The Achievement Habit.  Here is a fascinating article about using design thinking in the ‘wickedest problem’ of all.  Design thinking (and suicide prevention) start with re-framing how you view yourself in the world.… Read the rest

Seven Steps of Design Thinking

Seven Steps of Design ThinkingHoward Frederick writes:  Searching the web, you will see a plethora of design thinking process models that help explain what happens, when, to what, and why in the design process. When we use models, we aim to define steps in the design process. They can be linear, circular or iterative. Over the years, design thinking models have used a variety of terms, and they have differences and similarities in their stages. There is no one ‘right’ model. You may even be tempted to develop your own to suit a new context. Analysing the stages, Waloszek concludes that, despite some differences, the main stages in the design thinking process are similar among all models.… Read the rest