Thoughts and Design

Howard Frederick writes:  What is the definition of DesignDesign 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. (2006). Design the term design. Retrieved from; Heskett, J. (2005). Design: A very short introduction (Vol. 136). Oxford University Press, 3–4; Schmiedgen, J. (2013). Design thinking – Bootcamp, slide 12. Retrieved from

The word design can be a verb or a noun: the act or process of designing and the process of reaching output can be either of these. Used as a noun, the word design seems to have an edge over the design as a verb in the popular practices of the current era. Design as a verb is about the way they (designers, researchers) think and act, their attitudes and approaches to problems and solutions.




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