Tag Archives: Design Science

Day 40 – Design the Future #30dreamdays

6 Oct
Design Thinking

Designers, on the other hand, are forever bound to treat as real that which exists only in an imagined future and have to specify ways in which the foreseen thing can be made to exist. – John Chris Jones in Design Science

Throughout this dream process I have pushed myself daily to explore the things that make ME tick.  The passions that lie within.  To observe the meandering of my mind.   The results are conclusive.

I am a person who loves all things creative.   I wouldn’t classify myself at this point as “artistic” as I don’t actually express my creative side in an artistic way.  Most people connect artistic and creative and have never looked at creativity as an isolated skill that can be applied to any other field.

Through my entrepreneurship escapades I have recognized that I have a creative problem solving approach and creative thinking style.  I can make connections between really random things and I see things in terms of puzzle pieces fitting together or analogies.   It’s never been easy to describe.

Until I spent time during this challenge trying to understand what makes me unique.  Then I found DESIGN THINKING – and I was like EUREKA!!!  Now here’s a way to describe what I do naturally, and would love to study further and teach others!

Below are excerpts from the Wikipedia page.

“As a style of thinking, design thinking is generally considered the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context. While design thinking has become part of the popular lexicon in contemporary design and engineering practice, as well as business and management, its broader use in describing a particular style of creative thinking-in-action is having an increasing influence on twenty-first century education across disciplines.”

“There is momentum to create awareness about design thinking among designers and other professions by teaching design thinking in higher education. The premise is that by knowing about the process and the methods that designers use to ideate, and by understanding how designers approach problems to try to solve them, individuals and businesses will be better able to connect with and invigorate their ideation processes in order to take innovation to a higher level.”

“Design thinkers share a common set of values that drive innovation: these values are mainly creativity, ambidextrous thinking, teamwork, end-user focus, curiosity.”

Solution-based thinking

“Design thinking is a methodology for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result. In this regard it is a form of solution-based, or solution-focused thinking that starts with the goal or what is meant to be achieved instead of starting with a certain problem. Then, by focusing on the present and the future, the parameters of the problem and the resolutions are explored, simultaneously. This type of thinking most often happens in the built environment, also referred to as the artificial environment (as in artifacts).”

“Design thinking differs from the scientific method, which starts with defining all the parameters of the problem in order to define the solution. Rather, the design way of problem solving starts with a solution in order to start to define enough of the parameters to optimize the path to the goal. The solution, then, is actually the starting point.”

Differences from science and humanities

One of the first Design Science theorists, John Chris Jones, postulated that design is different than the arts, sciences and mathematics in the 1970s. In response to the question ‘is designing an art, a science or a form of mathematics’ he says:

The main point of difference is that of timing. Both artists and scientists operate on the physical world as it exists in the present (whether it is real or symbolic), while mathematicians operate on abstract relationships that are independent of historical time. Designers, on the other hand, are forever bound to treat as real that which exists only in an imagined future and have to specify ways in which the foreseen thing can be made to exist.


I dream of designing the future, specifically in Education and Social Innovation.  The beauty of mastering design thinking is that I would aim to be a facilitator/contributor on multidisciplinary teams to work on Wicked Problems (ill-defined and tricky problems) which are the kinds of problems I get a thrill from.  I would teach as many people as possible how to employ design thinking.

I am researching the new Master of Fine Arts in Design Thinking offered by Radford University.  I have time to look for other programs that may meet my needs so if anyone has anything to suggest, please do so in the comments below.

(Photo credit)

Sources: Wikipedia Design Thinking

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