DESIGN METHODOLOGY AN OVERVIEW
By M.Krist, N.Å.Sørensen, M.Bartošová, C.M.Nielsen and N.M.Molbech
250 000 years b.c. Craft Methods
Design Methodology historical timeline According to J. Broadbent(2003)
mid 1450 Design by drawing methods
INTRODUCTION Kolding, 2016
There are many opinions on how to define the field of design and the methods used by designers. In perspective of other scientific fields it can be considered rather new. There were no defined field of design as we know it today, but disciplines such as architecture, urban planning, engineering and product development started to tackle new types of problem-solving tools past traditional artifact making. Because it was rather new in the design world, more informed and methodical approaches to designing were required. Nowadays design methods is a term that is widely used. Though it can be interpreted differently, it is a shared belief in an exploratory and rigorous method to solve problems through design, an act which is part and parcel of what designers aim to accomplish in today’s complex world. A method is a way of doing something, especially a systematic way through an orderly arrangement of specific techniques, and each method has it’s own process. Process is defined as a series of actions, events, mechanisms, or steps, which contain methods. From a pragmatic standpoint, design methods is concerned with the “how” and defining “when” things happen, and in what desired order. During the two week course Design Methodology at Kolding Design School the 2nd. year master students was introduced to theories and practices of design methodology in a historical perspective. They read text excerpts from major thinkers in the field from the 1960’s up until today, and this magazine is the culmination of these readings. It includes the summaries, analysis’s and posters explaining the core concepts and learnings visually as well as in written browse-through format.
1960 -1970 Hard system methods
1970 Soft system methods
21st century Next generation
GENERATIONS IN DESIGN METHODOLOGY, THE DESIGN JOURNAL: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR ALL ASPECTS OF DESIGN John Broadbent (2003)
John Broadbent’s publication deals with the evolution of design methodologies throughout times. He defines 5 methods of creation: Craft, Design-By-Drawing, Hard System Methods, Soft System Methods, Evolutionary system Methods. Each of them has developed based on the former one. The author explains each methods and making compar sons between following steps. In addition to that, Broadbent discuss about the role of design and designers according to this evolution. First, the author presents the Craft movement which is the primary design method that appears in the middle-age as the first design thinking practice aiming to ease people’s life. According to Jones and Norman, Craft movement is an incremental process.Furthermore, this movement is mainly based on practical rather than theoretical knowledge. In order to improve their products, Craftsmen used to experiment and test them in a context: hence, they learned in an intuitively and informally way (Surt). Plus, Craftsmen didn’t or couldn’t draw their works and neither could they give adequate reasons for the decisions they took. Secondly, by implementing architectural use of drawing with craftsmanship, the Design-By-Drawing methods emerged in 1450s. It is characterized by separation of design from production which includes of division of labor. Thus, the expertise no longer resides in one person. Thanks to those changes, the design process greatly improved toward more substantive practice and changed for shorter time frames. Hard System Methods publicly emerged in the early 60s during the first Conference
on Design Methods in London, described as a more empathetic creative practice. Checkland defines this method as a “Systematically-ordered thinking concerned with means-definition in well-structured problems in which desirable ends can be stated“. Soft System Methods consider the situation around a problem, the context including social behavior and psychological aspects. It’s more suitable fuzzy situations with differing perceptions and views. Robinson and Nims in 1996 explained that SSM allow more potential in a wider range of design areas. The consideration and awareness of those severals aspects made possible the emergence of new design areas like ecodesign, collaborative design. It’s impossible to find the perfect methods to solve all the problems of the society (Rittel), but the Evolutionary System Methods as a flexible structure, is a good compromise. It create specific processes within specific fields and is able to evolve throughout a project. Jantsch (1975) noted that Design is the core of purposeful and creative action of the active building of relations between man and his word. Thus, Evolutionary Systems Design may be the next logical step in the broadening sociocultural role of design. During the last past centuries, It appears, from the trends described above, that consecutive generations of design methodology have been towards more complex, higher level, and more influential roles for design in society. In the future, we can predict that reductionism and holistic sciences will be the core of the design activity of humans.
INVESTIGATING DESIGN: A REVIEW OF FORTY YEARS OF DESIGN RESEARCH Nigan Bayazit (2004)
The text is a brief review of the different approaches to design research. Beyazit has used his Turkish angle when writing the text, and he states that in his paper he will restrict the perspective within design methodology and design science points of views. Beyazit starts his text by clarifying the concept of design research. He moves on to describe the beginning of design research from the 20’s Bauhaus to the problem centered design in post war era. When coming to the 60’s the focus started to shift from hardware to the consideration of human needs in design. In second chapter Beyazit writes about the systematic design methods, which Horst Rittel later called first generation of design methods. As one of the examples of this rational thinking based design method era Beyazit mentions Cristopher Alexander’s Pattern theory where the design problem is split into smaller solvable puzzles. In 1965 a conference in Birmingham clarified the first time the concept of ‘design science’.
The paradigm shift in design methods is claimed to have happened in 1967 in the Design Methods in Architecture Symposium in Portsmouth, where the division between rational thinking, mechanised behaviourists and more human focused existentialists came to focus. This started the new trend of design methods that started later to be called the second generation. New ideas came up, such as Herbert Simon’s Wicked problems which claimed that solutions to problems only led to new problems to occur. Several important design researchers left the old Design methodology and in 1971 C. Alexander and C. Jones wrote Manifesto against design methodology of the era. In the second half of text Beyazit goes through the evolution of scientific research in design. He goes back to the beginning of the design research and lists chronologically conferences, phenomenon and organisations happening in the science world throughout design methodology’s development.
DESIGN: HISTORY, THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PRODUCT DESIGN Bürdek, Bernhard E. (2005)
The roots of Design Methodology in the 1960’s appeared with the emergence of a great number of new design tasks. The need of methodology for the design process is first explained by Christopher Alexander. The evolution and expansion of the design areas in the present era requires more methodology than intuition to manage the complex issues appearing in the world. The First Generation Rittel divided the design process into structured steps to better formulate a design solution. Understand the mission; collect data; analyse and draw conclusions from this data; develop a variety of alternative solutions; assess the pros and cons; test the solutions. This constitutes the system research of the first generation. Alexander introduced the rationalization of the design process with the method for deconstruction and the hierarchy analysis of the design problems. This rational approach continued with Bonsiepe and Maldonado plus the Ulm School of Design, who applied a mathematical approach to aesthetics also known as the Ulm functionalism. Transclas-
sical science appeared afterwards as an extreme positioning of this ideation of design, conceiving design with the same objectiveness as cybernetics. Paradigm Shift The first generation was mainly based on scientific methodology with deductive reasoning from general problems to specific solutions. However Feyerabend introduced a humanistic standpoint and objected the idea of a single valid methodology. Alexander wrote “A Pattern Language” where he decomposed environment to better understand the whole and introduced the question of context in Design. Second Generation The Second generation focuses on the user’s needs and interests. This generation looked into studying and analysing with charts, moodboards, visuals and mind mapping. The Designers focus on an empirical approach, centered in the user and insuring the user’s acceptance of the product, defining target groups and testing the final application.
FORTY YEARS OF DESIGN RESEARCH Nigel Cross (2007)
The text “Forty years of design research” is written for the 40 years’ anniversary of DRS - Design Research Society. Cross defines the purpose of DRS: “To promote the study of and research into the process of designing in all its many fields’”. He gives an overview of the development within design research methods between 1962 and 2007. He lists important movements, events and main voices that helped forming design as an acknowledged discipline, and developing design methodology. He takes into account historical events as well as the geographical background. Main points - The beginning in EU and US: The origins of Design Methods. Early 1960’s: The desire to scientise. Establishment of design as a “hard science” relating to WW2 systematic thinking and use of computers for problem solving. - 1965: Archer challenges the scientising of Design. Alexander rejects his own theory: “I would say forget it, forget the whole thing’ - 1970’s: Rejection of design methodology by many, including some of the early pioneers; Christopher Alexander and J. Christopher Jones
- 1973: Horst Rittel’s idea “generations of methods” framing the development of design methodology as “Hard systems” - 1980s: development of engineering design methodology of systematic variety (Japan and Germany) - 1980’s - Cross writes “There are designerly ways of knowing” and 1983 - Donald Schön publishes the book “The Reflective Practitioner” based on the reflective practice. - Design methods group in the USA - growth in engineering design methodology in late 1980s - 1980’s: Consolidation of design research (design research journals)and the establishment of design as an independent discipline of study(Bruce Archer) Conclusion: Cross argues that the dominating ideas of design methodology up until today are those of Archer, Schön and Cross himself. Cross mentions his own articles a lot, which seems quite self affirmative, and could be a sign of him trying to reinforce his definition of design. We wonder how he would define the future development of design.
NOTES ON THE SYNTHESIS OF FORM Christopher Alexander (1961)
Nowadays, the design process needs and forces we accept in the real world become more and more complex than before and changing faster and faster. Because of the swiftly change materials, social patterns and cultures. Designers could not take the problems like yes or no questions. The designer should face the truth that their limited capacity for dealing with complex problems. Break down the problem into the smaller problems to make the solution which fits the real world. By using the system of logic helps designer represent the picture of the reality. However, “the use of logical structures to represent design problems has an important consequence. It brings with it the loss of
innocence.” Although logical pictures sharpe our conception of what the design process involved. We have to be careful with nonintuitive way of doing things. “There has already been one loss of innocence in the recent design; the discovery machine tools to replace hand craftsmen.” However, it is not possible today to escape the responsibility of considerer action by working with academic (logic) style. But still, designers should treasure their greatest gists intuitive ability to organized physical form. And be careful of losing innocence, because once you cannot be regained.
SYSTEMATIC METHOD FOR DESIGNERS, WHATEVER BECAME OF DESIGN METHODOLOGY L. Bruce Archer (1965)
In Systematic Method for Designers, Bruce Archer describes systematically methods and definition of design in an industrial context based on the challenges designers have to face. His definition of design can be synthesized as the intention of a “tangible“ solution founded on a need. The designer has to consider the whole system in which the proposed product is part in the aspects of function, marketing and manufacture. The design process Archer describes is a complex gathering of analysis, creativity, objectivity and subjectivity. This constitutes design as an hybrid accumulation of a wide field of complicated tasks and generates a need for methods. This process begins with the awareness of a need, asking the right questions in order to define goals and constraints. Based on the analysis of this data, the designer formulates a first hypothesis, open to approximations, in regard of the possible factors
that can affect the design. By identifying and prioritizing the sub-problems, he is now able to think of solutions. Archer defines this step between pondering the question and finding the solution as the creative leap, intuitively conducted. The design development mainly consists of filling gaps and making choices. As the design solution is an hypothesis based on imperfect evidences, it needs to be tested before being confirmed. In Whatever became of Design Methodology?, Bruce Archer comes back on his reflections on design methodology from now on alive under the name of design research. He describes mathematical methods as alienating for designer as they separate analysis and synthesis when designer oscillates in-between. For him, the methods became too narrow to capture the importance of cognitive modeling (like sketching, drawing, constructing,…) which are essential to the design creative process.
DESIGN FOR THE REAL WORLD: HUMAN ECOLOGY AND SOCIAL CHANGE Papanek, Victor (1971)
Creative problem solving Koeler is cited with his sentence “the creative act consists in combining previously unrelated structures so that you get more out of the emergent whole than you put in”. Papanek cites this to explain that designers creatively thinking have the ability; through different methodologies such as intuition, systematic solution direction or “spark of genius”; to do make something new that has never been made before, and there lies the importance of innovation. Papanek criticizes that we live in a society where creative individuals are penalized for their inconformity. Added to this, there are blocks that prevent not only designers, but all people from having truly new ideas and new solutions. With perceptual blocks we perceive some images or senses over others. Emotional blocks consist the feeling we share as humans to not want to stand out and “follow the masses”. Associational blocks are those that are psychologically predetermined or are taught to us in early in life. We associate that some things derive from others and it could not work any other way. Cultural blocks are those that determine are actions ore decisions that we take for
granted because it is what we have learnt from our environment such as left to right reading. Professional Blocks are those where study, experience or routine has made us used to certain rules that we feel we must follow. With intellectual blocks we can know too much or not be able to step back to see the simplest solution. There is constant pressure from the masses to conform that does not help with the ever-growing problems that designers have to face with creativity. Methods of creative problem solving Papanek offers different methodology to increment new ideas, some we have found more interesting than others. Brainstorming is the most common of techniques for creative problem solving, a team of people try to generate as many ideas as possible. Morphological Analysis is a three dimensional grid for multiple idea combinations. Sliding scales give a larger choice than morphological analysis, the combinations of different subjects are almost unlimited when sliding and comparing one slide against another. Bisociation is a word association method when combining different subjects to make a “story”.
PLANNING PROBLEMS ARE WICKED PROBLEMS Horst W. J. Rittel, Melvin M. Webber (1973)
The text “Planning Problems are Wicked Problems” by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber explains the term “wicked problem” and elaborates on the differences between the approach to problem solving in scientific and social areas. This because they found, that you cannot apply the classical paradigm of science and engineering to the problems of open societal systems. They define scientific problems as distinguishable and definable with findable solutions. On the contrary problems in a social context are ill-defined and depend on the analyst’s judgement. Hence a social problem can never be solved, it can only be re-solved. Those problems they call wicked problems. Rittel and Webber use the term “wicked” meaning malignant, vicious, tricky and place them in social contexts in contrast to scientific problems which are tame and benign problems. In working with a wicked problem the analyst has to struggle with the paradox of understanding a problem through looking at ideas for solving it. Problem understanding and problem resolution are concomitant which means that finding the problem is the same thing as finding the solution. Working with wicked problems is especially tricky because there is not only one possible solution. The solution can always be improved. Due to the lack of objective criteria it is neither possible to determine the correctness in a wicked problem, nor is it possible to appraise all the waves and affects the solution has created. Furthermore there are many hidden factors in the causal chains in a wicked problem. Therefore the modes of reasoning when dealing with wicked problems are much richer and there are more ways of refuting a hypothesis than there are in science.
In science, there are no consequences if one postulates hypotheses that are later refuted. The planner in a social context doesn’t have this immunity, as his/her improvements affects people directly. Solutions to wicked problems are “one-shot operations” because ever y implemented solution has irreversible consequences. Attempts to correct the solution might lead to another wicked problem. Since every wicked problem is unique it is not possible to classify them and/or admit a certain set of rules and procedures to find and apply a solution. If anything, the attempt to transfer a solution from one problem to another can be very harmful. The analyst has to decide on the level of approaching the problem. He has to choose between a broad approach which makes the problem complicated and hard to solve and a approach on a lower level, taking small steps which makes the problem solving easier but also increases the risk to make the problem worse or create a new wicked problem. It is clear that in Rittels and Webbers model the analyst’s world view plays a crucial role in resolving the wicked problem. Reflection We think that the examples given by Rittel and Webber for why scientific solutions are not consequential are too simple and give a too narrow view on what a scientific solution can be and therefore limits the possible effects. It could be discussed further if it is always true that scientific solutin have no consequences and if scientific and social problems are completely different in all their characteristics? How does it relate to our design practice? How can we use this theory in Practic ? Is there a danger to use the theory of the “wicked” problem as an excuse, to release the analyst/designer from its responsibility?
HOW DESIGNERS THINK ROUTE MAPS OF THE DESIGN PROCESS Bryan Lawson (1980 1ST EDITION)
In the 3rd chapter of ‘How Designers Think’ Bryan Lawson sets out to examine Design Processes and different maps and models that tries to describe them. His conclusion on this matter is that the models and maps in general show the design process as a fixed sequence of activities, which is not accurate enough. The reason that maps and models are often not accurate enough is that they are often too theoretical and prescriptive, and is made by thinking about the process instead of experimentally observing it. Lawson concludes that writers on design methodology do not necessarily always make the best designers. He thinks design is a process in which problem and solution emerges together and therefore it is a necessity to be able to jump back and forth between the activities in a “loop”.
Solving design problems are often a complex matter, caused by the fact that clients often need something physical (e.g. a drawing) or an existing solution to describing their problems by. To the question of whether we will ever be able to find a map or model for how design process works Bryan Lawson answers; “probably (…) we shall never really find a single satisfactory definition” and goes on by concluding: “(…) but that the searching is probably much more important than the finding.” He finished the chapter by concluding once again, that the design process is a highly complex mental process and therefore it is way to difficult to describe by a simplistic diagram.
THE SCIENCE OF DESIGN: CREATING THE ARTIFICIAL Herbert A. Simon (1988 Originally published in 1969)
The writer’s perspective Engineering, Architecture, medicine and Business. From early 1960’s The academic = Progress, future(Paradigm shift) H “anker after academic re spectability” -> Lack of core professional skills! 1988 Beginning of computing for everyone, design is not all new but very tied to “tough, analytical, formal” thinking. Former schools = Intuitive, “Cookbooky”. The invention of the design process A meeting between hard and soft science. Still formal and analytical, but with respect to “the artificial”. All disciplines deals with/can benefit from design. He claims that there is a growing need for communication between intellectual disciplines – “The common ground”. -> Designers are “intellectual free traders” between the disciplines. Designer skills are thought processes, judging, deciding, choosing, and creating (men women computers). .“. acore discipline for every liberally educated person”. Two cultures (or more): There is a fragmentation in society between disciplines (cultures), that needs a common understanding: Design can be that language “A common understanding of our relation to the inner and outer environments that define the space in which we live and choose can provide at least part of that significant core”. Design is occupied with how
things “ought to be”. Inner environments (Alternatives of actions) vs. outer environments (Parametres, facts or probabilities): Utility function (tools and design methods -> Goal(solution). There exists components of design theories and a body of knowledge. It is no longer needed to completely rely on the “hard” methods, it has been tested - but on a tangible record (part of the outer world). Terms Possible worlds: Worlds that fits in the constraints, and can be tested (Scenarios?) Decomposition: To split an issue/design up into semi-independent constituents, and analysing each. Hierarchy: A possible solution - how to re-organize the disassembled parts into a new order. Representation: Ways to communicate/visualize a problem in. His examples and language Diet, Chess, GPS, Baby sensory inputs vs. motor Very formal language, speaking to engineers. He calls for a common language (that is design language) to communicate across professional disciplines. Since this is a new idea in 1988, we as design students anno 2016 encounter challenges in deciphering his attempt to communicate to engineers in 1988. Is he the first to put words on an actual design process?
THE REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONER. HOW PROFESSIONALS THINK IN ACTION Schön Donald (1991)
The text describes design as a reflective conversation with the situation; the author explains the theory of reflection-in-action and presents a case studio to support it. He investigates the process of designing through the analysis of an architecture review between teacher and student who show different approaches to solve an initial problem. Designing is a process that starts with a critic reflection to reframe the initial problem. Design works in a sort of “virtual world” and uses the combination of verbal and non-verbal languages to make moves towards the solution of the problem. Each move to get close to the solution requires a careful evaluation of the possible consequences, implications, constraints and potential new problems, in a process that must constantly oscillate from the consideration of the total and the unit. We can say that during the design process the situation talks back to the designer, and consequently the designer responds to the situation opening new possibilities which in turn bring many potential consequences: it is a continually evolving system of implications. This is how the designer reflects-in-action. The ability to sketch is essential in this process because it represents the tangible translation of abstract words. The greatest value of sketching is the possibility it gives
the designer to test actions without actually making them in the real world. This means that is necessary to have good sketching skills because people will understand only what the designer is in fact able to sketch. However is fundamental to maintain a link between the virtual world of designing and the real world: the sketch gains value only if it is representing something which is actually possible to reproduce and contextualize in the real world. We can find confirmation of the author’s assumption in our design practice because an accurate sketch or prototype allows us to better understand the problem and the dynamics around it. For instance, during the development of a project often happens that the prototyping phase makes us clearly see the weaknesses of a product in different terms. This cyclical process of the reflection-in-action can be compared to the idea of “learning by doing”. One of the other main points of the author is the focus we must have on understanding the process behind a project. Gaining this kind of knowledge before making researches or experimentations prevents designers from creating wrong expectations which can lead to an incorrect approach to the project.
DESIGN METHODS Jones (1970-1992 edition)
The text is about trying to find a coherent new process that can pulling the traditional design method to pieces effectively. The key idea of a network is useful, yet misleading, since the relationship between network and real world could be forgot. The network is like the navigational tools for explorer, which provides â€œa straight wayâ€? towards designing. The existing simplest observation about designing includes three steps: analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The text offers a more elementary version of three steps: divergence, transformation and convergence. Divergence refers to extending the boundary of designing, in order to have large enough space for a solution. It has several key characteristics. First is that both objectives and problem boundary are unstable and tentative. Secondly, evaluation has to be deferred. The last but more important is to test the sensitivity of key elements. Divergence is like a test for stability or instability, to de-structure the original brief while keeping a valuable and feasible of freedom. Transformation is the step that designers like the most. It is a stage of pattern - making, creativity, and inspiration. It is also a stage where experience, judgment and technicalities are combined so that the solution could
reflect the design situation. In this stage, one has to decide what to emphasize and what to overlook. Unlike divergence, the problem boundary needs to be fixed at this stage, as well as critical variables to be identified. The most important requirement for transformation is the freedom for sub-goals change and the speed to predict sub-goals. Convergence is the last stage, when the problem has been defined and variables been identified. The aim of this stage is to reducing the secondary uncertainties until the final solution to be found. In this stage, persistence and rigidity have to been kept in mind. The snag in this stage might encounter is the unforeseen sub-problems prove to be critical. Designers should use less abstract and more detailed models to represent the range of alternatives at this stage. The text suggests a strategy used by skilled designers: combining the out-in and in-out strategies, where the two points will meet in the end. A good convergence can reduce many options to a single one in an economical way, cheaply and quickly as possible, while avoiding unforeseen retreats.
ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELD METHODS AND THEIR RELATION TO DESIGN Jeanette Blomberg, Jean Giacomi, Andrea Mosher, Pat Swenton-Wall (1993)
The text analyses the ethnographic field methods, such as observation, note taking, interviews, videotaping and so on and then links them to the design field and compare them with the design traditional approach. The authors investigate how these ethnographic methods could bring the designers to a better understanding of user practices and create a context for designers to collaborate with users. The theory is supported by the example of a Participatory Design Project, realized by Palo Alto Research Centre and Xerox designers, using co-design and ethnographic field methods. The authorsâ€™ main point are that ethnographic methods are relevant to design for several reasons: - Designers understand better the settings needed so that the technologies suits the situations of their use. - It is important that the designersâ€™ world view not be imposed inappropriately on users. - Some understanding of the usersâ€™ work can help the designers to identify possible uses of new technology. - Designers have the possibility of testing technologies in the effective context of use.
The text also concerns what could be the relation between ethnographer and designer in the design practice, evaluating three different possibilities: - Ethnographers might transfer knowledge to designers through written reports and oral presentations. Then designers have to identify the relevant aspects for their work. - The study might be undertaken by a team of ethnographers and designers. In this way designers are helped by their active involvement in field work. - The team might be composed by ethnographers, designers and users. In this case the result of the project could be a co-designed artefact that better suits the needs of the users. The text is really actual a refers to the contemporary fields of research in design. The only limiting thing is that the authors refer to design only as technological innovation and not in its whole, while the methods they describe could be used in all the design fields, not strictly bounded to technological innovation.
DISCOVERING DESIGN ABILITY Nigel Cross (1995)
Cross starts his text by introducing shortly the recent history of design ability and its study, and moves on to present his goals for the text. He states his aim as to further explain design ability as an individual intelligence. On first chapter Cross lists some distinctive, practical features that design work and design ability include. He mentions the importance of creativity and intuition, and compares this to the rational problem solving of engineers. Furthermore he claims that in design the solution is not always a straight answer to the problem, but these two things are closely intertwined. Thirdly, he points out the designerâ€™s need to express their thoughts through sketching and other modelling media as a main characteristic for their study. On second chapter Cross moves on to clarify characteristic ways designers work. He states that creative problem solving requires a creation of various solutions to make it possible to understand the problem. Also in design thinking it is characteristic for both goals and task constrains to evolve throughout the process.
Cross quotes H. A. Simon who stated that whereas natural sciences focus on how things are, design is conserned on how things ought to be. This nonlogic based, abductive reasoning supports Crossâ€™s claim that designers are focusing on using ill-definedness in their approach to the problem. Here again he raises to the focus the methods of sketching and other visual communications that designers use to verbalize the complex, non-verbalized thought processes. Disregarding the designer specific characteristics, Cross claims that everyone is born with design abilities and is able to use those skills in various levels. He also presents examples on how these abilities can be traced down to our brain functions. Cross raises a point saying that design thinking should be considered as its own form of intelligence, and whereas it has been relying to other fields of studies so far, it should be regarded as its own discipline.
CREATIVITY IN THE DESIGN PROCESS: CO-EVOLUTION OF PROBLEM-SOLUTION Kees Dorst & Nigel Cross (2001)
The text contains a run though of an experiment and finalizing in a conslusion. What Dorst and Cross is trying to achieve with this paper is to test Maher’s co-evolution model with an experiment with 9 industrial designers (whom we’ll refer to later by numbers) and 21 industrial design students where they go through a creative process in a lab. The motivation for the experiment is to identify what components elevate the creativity of the designers ideas, process and final result. They constructed a meticulous experiment in a lab where the designers where given a simple and straight forward assignment they had to work on under time-constraints, they received pre-made research, had to think out loud and was monitored with two cameras at all time. This gave Dorst and Cross insights into the mental process the designers went though and they saw how all 30 designers came to the same insight conclusion based on four indirect clues hidden in the research papers, they were deliberately trying to make the designers to come to this insight. What was interesting was that all designer had an emotional reaction to their new-found insight, despite it being very generic. The designers final concept we re-drawn to ensure it’s anonymity and then judge by five different industrial design teacher who still work professionally in the field. The result showed that the designers (3+4) how chose to incorporate their insight and reframe their problem statement received higher scores on their creativity. One of the
designers (9) did this but since the solution was two in-cohesive products we assume that’s why he didn’t score higher on the creativity scale. One of the designers (8) didn’t include the insight and still scored high on the scale, we assume this is because his solution was differentiating from the rest in a creative fashion. In the conclusion Dorst and Cross uses their result in Mahler’s model to display the creative event, also mentioned as creative leap, bridge and original streak. The creativity level of a solution is dependent on the framing of the problem, thus the term creative problem. The designers ability to incorporate thier insights in both the problem framing and the solution is what makes the designer creative. On our poster we interpreted Mahler’s co-evolution model to enhance our own understanding of the model. We discussed several ways in which the process could be illustrated but also alternative approaches to the creative process that diverged from the model, like designer (8) who didn’t follow the model but still designed a creative solution. Sometimes you strike gold in the first stroke but we acknowledge that the mindset of the designer and the ability to identify and incorporate insights is what makes the difference in a designers solution.
THE DESIGN OF EVERYDAY THINGS Don Norman (2002)
Don Norman talks about Norman doors;doors that are difficult to open. In this paper he explains that designers sometimes fail to think about users, their psyhology and their needs. Because of this a lot of accedents happened, most people think it is a human error, but Norman says it is a result of poor design. As a result of his experience he made a book. Don Norman made a book with two titles;the first title The Psychology of everyday things and the second title is The Design of everyday things. The first title of the book was placed in the psychology section, he changed the title to get it in the right section. He says: ”I had been quilty of the same shortsightedness that leads to all those unusable every things.” Lessons we can learn from the book: - It is not your fault: When people have trouble with something, it isn’t their fault-it is the fault of the design. - Design principles: Never criticize something unless you can offer a solution - Conceptual models: The device must explain itself
- Feedback: It is important to show the effect of an action - Constraints: To make something easy to use, is to make it impossible to do otherwise;design it to fit it only one way. - Affordances: The appropriate actions should be more visible than inappropriate ones. The most important part of the book is: learn to watch, learn to observe. So you can critique the design and you will find yourself explaining how to fix the problem. By involving multiple disciplines in developing products, the understanding of human needs are growing. Although technology changes very fast, social culture changes slowly. By merging this problem and an understanding of people, design became very powerful.
BRINGING CLARITY TO THE “FUZZY FRONT END” Darrel Rhea (2003)
When larger businesses goes trough the strategic development on refining where and how they can create innovative products, Design Research can play a key role in developing the necessary insights before starting to develop. From a non-design perspective, business managers often describes this process as ‘The fuzzy front end’, because it is a ill-defined process and seems a bit mysterious – in other words the process does not seem predictable. Even though that the customer-focused innovation at this early stage can be effective at creating breakthrough products, Design Researchers needs to articulate how their work can create value in form of profit and brings clarity to this ‘unpredictable’ process. Most CEO’s typically cares more about increased revenues and stock prices, than the process and the tool that generated the
innovative product or service. So in order for you, as a Design Researcher, to bring clarity towards ‘the fuzzy front end’, you need to accommodate what the business managers really wants. This can be done by connecting and comparing the research phase to the results that the business managers wants. Darrel Rhea claims that real innovation is risky and involves change and he therefore see Design Research methods as a tool to convince businesses to take the risk. Design Research methods includes that the business needs to implement a more customer-focused approach when ‘creating’ new innovation. This approach has a externally focus, which seems more risky, but in the end create more profitable product, than products that were created with a more internally approach.
THE TEN FACES OF INNOVATION: BEYOND THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE Kelley, Tom & Littman, Jonathan (2005)
The Devil’s Advocate has become a universal role found in more or less any business today, and this character is according to Kelley, more potent in stifling innovation than anything else: “(..) The Devil’s Advocate encourages idea-wreckers to assume the most negative possible perspective, one that sees only the downside, the problems, the disasters in-waiting” (p.2)During the text, Kelley, who is a general manager at IDEO, reveals some of the successful strategies IDEO uses in order to foster innovative thinking throughout an organization and to keep the Devil’s Advocates in place. Through almost 20 years of experience managing IDEO, dealing with innovation in organizations, Kelley has identified ten important human roles that foster innovation; The ten faces of innovation. The ten faces are divided into three groups. The first group are the learning personas; who are The Anthropologist, The experimenter and the Cross-Pollinator. People adopting the learning roles are humble enough to question their own worldview and they are open to new insights. Next there are the three roles of the organizing Personas; The Hurdler, The Collaborator and The Director. These three roles are dealing with the counterintuitive process of how organisations move ideas forward. The four remaining roles are in the category of The Building Personas, who apply insights from the learning roles and channel the empowerment from the organization roles to make innovation happen. This category covers following personas; The experience Architect, The set Designer, The Caregiver and The Storyteller. The ten personas are not inherent personality traits that are permanently attached to one individual on the team. The roles are available
to anyone on the team and people can switch roles, reflecting their multifaceted capabilities. The roles give a chance to broaden the range of creativity, with the flexibility to pick the right role for the right challenge. The ten personas have successfully been battle-tested thousand of times in real-world innovation projects at IDEO. The personas emphasizes ”being innovation” rather than ”doing innovation”; in other words this approach is looking at and dealing with projects from changing perspectives and most importantly it is a team sport. In the last part of the excerpt, the implementation and use of the ten faces innovation methodology are further is compared to participating in an athletic event, where five of the same principles apply: 1. Stretch for strength. Flexibility is the new strength, and in the long run it is more important for an organization than size and even power. 2. Go for Distance. Secondly innovation is not just a program or a diet you try for 30 days, it’s rather a lifestyle and the spirit of innovation should permeate the entire company and not only delegated to one department. 3. Never Surrender. A tireless never-say-die approach is important in order to overcome a series of obstacles. The Director will know the importance of keeping a steady pace. The collaborator can multiply energy reserves through cooperation. 4. Embrace the mental game. The mental focus is important when fatigue and frustration set in. Personas like the Hurdler and the Experimenter, need mental toughness to keep going when common sense say it is time to stop. 5. Celebrate coaches. Having a coach that believes in the people and project is a huge part of achieving great results. The right coach will bring out the best in you.
CO-CREATION AND THE NEW LANDSCAPES OF DESIGN Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders & Pieter Jan Stappers (2008)
Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders and Pieter Jan Stappers article deals with the shift from the user-centered design method to co-design. They analyze the change of designers’, users’ and researchers’ roles in the design process in relation to this shift. They explain deeply the participatory approach and picture the outcomes and consequences of this method in the design practice and the real world. The first statement explain the differences between the two approaches. The user-centered design method relies on the expert perspective, who is mainly the researcher and that considers the user as subjects of observation. Moreover, the designer masters all the steps of the process, but has a passive role regarding the analysis and the theory knowledge. Whereas, the participatory approach is based on partnership with the user and it includes the co-design (collective act of creation applied in a design process) and the co-creation (collective act of creation). It aims to empower, inform, and create networks between users and experts, designers. Nigel Cross stated that designers failed to predict the side effects of their projects which explains the emergence of this participatory approach. To resolve those aftermaths, he considers that the citizen participation in decision making as necessary. Moreover, Robert Jungk adds that the user should participate at the ideas generation stage creating a balance from the consumption (consumerism) and creation. Thus, It occurs a shift from a firm-centric interest and product towards personalized consumer experiences. But in 2005, Eric Van Hippel pointed out that the co-creation act was only involving “lead users“ that had already explored innovative methods in their field and desire to share and so, limiting the participation to an elite. Co-designing change the roles of users, designers and researchers. At the opposite
of the user-centered design method, the co-designing approach allows the user to be the expert of his own experience and share ideas, concepts and knowledge. On the other hand, the status of researcher and the designer becomes equal by supporting themselves and providing tools for the users. In this approach, the user is involved in the creative levels depending of the amount of expertise needed. The different creative levels are Doing, Adapting, Making and Creating. Thus, his status can be passive, active or in between user and designer. Secondly, the researcher adopts a more facilitator role: he offers relevant experiences and facilitate people’s expression of creativity. Plus, he brings theories for the co-design team, guide users, provide the structure and offer a clean slate. Finally, the designer’s role is to use his skills for global issues and open new future possibilities, considering environment, systems and products. Designers also has to make tools for non-designers to use to express themselves creatively. During the co-design process, he will have to bring expert inputs about technology, production, business. The need that allows this shift to happen is to believe that everybody is creative. Secondly, Internet permitted people to share ideas in an egalitary way. Last but not least, the technology driven vision of companies helped to be more focused on user experience. It affects the design discipline with the creation of new ones focused on design for a purpose instead of design of a product. For instance, the co-designing approach would tackle the subject of sustainability or improve the educational system with co-design tools. Therefore, it opens new areas and perspective for designers work. To conclude, co-design currently seek for identity future opportunities but should also identify and ameliorate consequences of current systems.
DESIGN, MEANINGS, AND RADICAL INNOVATION: A METAMODEL AND A RESEARCH AGENDA Roberto Verganti (2008)
A new analysis of design-intensive manufacturers such as Alessi, Artemide, and other leading Italian firms shows that their innovation process hardly starts from a close observation of user needs and requirements. Rather, they follow a different strategy called design-driven innovation. This strategy aims at radically change the emotional and symbolic content of products through a deep understanding of broader changes in society, culture, and technology. With Design -driven innovation it is the company’s vision to create new product-meanings and design language that can identify with society. Design-Driven innovation The Innovation process of Italian companies in furniture,lighting and small appliance industries, as well as other leaders worldwide in various industries, such as. Apple and Bang & Olufsen, does not use user-centered design. These companies have developed a superior ability to propose innovation that radically redefines what a product does for a customer. For them, design-driven innovation a radical innovation of a product’s meaning. Design-driven innovation does not start from the insight from consumers, but from designers to predict what consumers need and that users do not even know. Design-driven innovation is caused by a company’s vision is possible to supply products a language that will be important in the future. As this vision not only be developed by looking at the current user behavior, these companies process very little in common with usercentered approaches. The first model in the study of design driven - innovation is a Meta Model to examine the manufacturers’ ability to understand and anticipate the emergence of new product launches in collaboration with designers,
companies in other industries, suppliers, artists and media. Trades that share the same problem of understanding the development of socio-cultural models and new visions and meanings. Design-driven innovation involves interactions with the product language and the influence of shifts in the socio-cultural models. One has studied design innovation, starting with an analysis of the successful Italian manufacturers, which the study suggests one Meta model where design innovation is network-based, and where knowledge of languages and meanings among companies and freelances. Meta model allows similarities between design-driven processes (leading to innovations of meanings) and technology push processes (leading to innovations in technology). The text is not to give a definitive answer to the riddle of design innovation, but more to propose new objects to research this phenomenon. The analysis of successful Italian manufacturers, is a Meta model is suggested to understand how design innovation occurs and can be managed. Design and innovation strategies Research in marketing, consumer behavior, and anthropology of consumption have also shown that the affective / emotional and symbolic / socio-cultural dimension of consumption is as important as the utilitarian perspective of classical economic models, even for industrial customers. This definition allows the design to be more connected with other theories of innovation. Design innovation is the interaction between consumers and businesses, which are in dialogue about change in the market, and that design innovation is closer to technology push rather than users center design.
AN ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUE OF RESEARCH THROUGH DESIGN: TOWARDS A FORMALIZATION OF A RESEARCH APPROACH J.Zimmerman, E.Stolterman, J.Forlizzi (2010)
The text formulated an overall critique of the present state of Research through Design (RtD), compared with more recognized and established research approaches. To support this critique, the authors have conducted several interviews with people from different backgrounds, in the field of Human- Computer Interaction, together with case studies and theories. They interviewed 12 people working in HCI, asking them to describe design research and provide examples of design theory, defining RtD with relative examples and challenges that occurred into HCI research communities. Most of the responses followed Frayling’s 3 characterizations of design research: 1. Research about design, which was the most popular and it is focusing on understanding humans activity of design. 2. Research for design which helps designer to re-frame the problems they are incurring through interdisciplinary knowledge. 3. Research through design, which allows designers to design naturally and create a bridge to theory generation.
This type of research can lead to formulate theory for design and also theory on design. It also emerged that it is really important to refer to examples to support the RdT and the author’s propose three case studies from the past. As a result of the interviews, the authors identified 4 challenges to go through: successful methodology development, research examples, theory critique and evaluation criteria. - Need to include RdT into a serious research methodology to build stronger design theories. - Need to refer to more examples to examine each other’s work and test out each other’s theories. - Need for critical analysis of theoretical outcomes through serious theoretical analysis and criticism. Finally, RtD can be a way to produce Nascent theory and build relationships between phenomena in the future and not in the present or past. The weakness of RtD is that it is still not enough defined to be used as a well-developed research approach.
RETHINKING DESIGN THINKING: PART I Lucy Kimbell (2011)
Design thinking is a term in both design and management circles, reflecting the interest in methods where we can see all creativity. This article was written by designer Lucy Kimbell. It gives a demanding look of design thinking in the world of social innovation and business. The author is trying to explain where is exactly design thinking in a wider economic, cultural and social place and looking for an answer what it is and why it has touched a part of business and policy. However the new working methods in the design thinking is more about working in a different contexts and at different speeds, from the slow pace of academia to the fast-moving worlds of consultancy and blogging. The main topic gives the long interpretation of what has been termed as design thinking and also shows a argument for investigation of the place of design practice in both business and policy. We found three key points in the article. The first one is telling more about what design is, proposing that there are shared
common features in all design areas and not admit how these completely different areas have appeared in historical settings. The second one is more about design thinking in general. It focusses to much on the thinking part of design and forgets about the all action and practice aspects. All designs and designers from the context in which they operate are split. The last one is more about the designer. Although talking “user-centred” and “ human-centred” approaches, in the meaning of design thinking, the designer is still the most important in whole design process. The author decides that the practices of design do indeed have something to offer in businnes and in respect of social innovation. She shows a way of interpreting different styles of thinking and approaches to problem solving within design and also concludes by suggesting that the “critical rethinking of design thinking has only just begun” page 301.
(Texts in order of appearence)
Overview Texts: Broadbent, John (2003) The Design Journal : Generations in Design Methodology, Bayazit, Nigan (2004) Investigating Design: A Review of Forty Years of Design Research Bürdek, Bernhard E. (2005) Design: History, Theory and Practice of Product Design Cross, Nigel (2007) Forty years of design research Insight texts: Alexander, Christopher (1961) Notes on the synthesis of form Archer, L. Bruce (1965) Systematic Method for Designers - Whatever became of Design Methodology Papanek, Victor (1971) Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change Rittel , H. W. J. , Webber, M. M. (1973) Planning Problems are Wicked Problems Lawson, Bryan (1980 1st edition) How Designers Think - Route Maps of the Design Process Simon, Herbert A. (1988 Org.1969) The Science of Design: Creating the Artificial Schön, Donald (1991) The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action Jones, J.C. (1970-1992 edition) Design Methods J.Blomberg, J.Giacomi, A.Mosher,P.Swenton-Wall(1993)Ethnographic Field Methods and Their Relation to Design Cross, Nigel (1995) Discovering design ability Dorst, Kees & Cross, Nigel (2001) Creativity in the Design Process: Co-evolution of Problem-solution Norman, Don (2002) The design of everyday things Rhea , Darrel (2003) Bringing Clarity to the “Fuzzy Front End” Kelley, Tom & Littman, Jonathan (2005) The ten faces of Innovation: Beyond the Devil’s Advocate Sanders, Elizabeth B.-N. & Stappers, Pieter Jan (2008) Co-creation and the New Landscapes of Design Verganti, Roberto (2008) Design, Meanings, and Radical Innovation: A metamodel and a Research Agenda J.Zimmerman, E.Stolterman, J.Forlizzi (2010) An Analysis and Critique of Research through Design: towards a formalization of a research approach Kimbell, Lucy (2011) Rethinking Design Thinking: Part I
Kolding School of Design 2016