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Design Thinking, Design Theory

The Design Thinking/Design Theory series seeks to develop vital conversations to help designers and researchers serve business, industry, and the public sector for positive social and economic outcomes. This series explores strategic design as an opportunity to create value through innovative products and services. It emphasizes design as service that succeeds through rigorous creativity, critical inquiry, and an ethics informed by respect for people, for nature, and for the world we shape through design.

An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation

In a changing world everyone designs: each individual person and each collective subject, from enterprises to institutions, from communities to cities and regions, must define and enhance a life project. Sometimes these projects generate unprecedented solutions; sometimes they converge on common goals and realize larger transformations. As Ezio Manzini describes in this book, we are witnessing a wave of social innovations as these changes unfold—an expansive open co-design process in which new solutions are suggested and new meanings are created.

Create New Thinking by Design

When organizations apply old methods of problem-solving to new kinds of problems, they may accomplish only temporary fixes or some ineffectual tinkering around the edges. Today’s problems are a new breed—open, complex, dynamic, and networked—and require a radically different response. In this book, Kees Dorst describes a new, innovation-centered approach to problem-solving in organizations: frame creation. It applies “design thinking,” but it goes beyond the borrowed tricks and techniques that usually characterize that term.

The Politics and Aesthetics of Participation in Experience-Centered Design

In Taking A[part], John McCarthy and Peter Wright consider a series of boundary-pushing research projects in human-computer interaction (HCI) in which the design of digital technology is used to inquire into participative experience. McCarthy and Wright view all of these projects—which range from the public and performative to the private and interpersonal—through the critical lens of participation.

All design is situated—carried out from an embedded position. Design involves many participants and encompasses a range of interactions and interdependencies among designers, designs, design methods, and users. Design is also multidisciplinary, extending beyond the traditional design professions into such domains as health, culture, education, and transportation. This book presents eighteen situated design methods, offering cases and analyses of projects that range from designing interactive installations, urban spaces, and environmental systems to understanding customer experiences.

Unfolding the Design Process

This book presents linkography, a method for the notation and analysis of the design process. Developed by Gabriela Goldschmidt in an attempt to clarify designing, linkography documents how designers think, generate ideas, put them to the test, and combine them into something meaningful. With linkography, Goldschmidt shows that there is a logic to the creative process—that it is not, as is often supposed, pure magic. Linkography draws on design practice, protocol analysis, and insights from cognitive psychology.

In The Aesthetics of Imagination in Design, Mads Folkmann investigates design in both material and immaterial terms. Design objects, Folkmann argues, will always be dual phenomena—material and immaterial, sensual and conceptual, actual and possible. Drawing on formal theories of aesthetics and the phenomenology of imagination, he seeks to answer fundamental questions about what design is and how it works that are often ignored in academic research.

In Adversarial Design, Carl DiSalvo examines the ways that technology design can provoke and engage the political. He describes a practice, which he terms “adversarial design,” that uses the means and forms of design to challenge beliefs, values, and what is taken to be fact. It is not simply applying design to politics--attempting to improve governance, for example, by redesigning ballots and polling places; it is implicitly contestational and strives to question conventional approaches to political issues.

China is on the verge of a design revolution. A “third generation” of the People’s Republic of China that came of age during China’s “opening up” period of the 1980s now strives for fame, fortune, and self expression. This generation, workers in their thirties and forties, has more freedom to create--and to consume--than their parents or grandparents. In China’s Design Revolution, Lorraine Justice maps the evolution of Chinese design and innovation.

Design Things offers an innovative view of design thinking and design practice, envisioning ways to combine creative design with a participatory approach encompassing aesthetic and democratic practices and values. The authors of Design Things look at design practice as a mode of inquiry that involves people, space, artifacts, materials, and aesthetic experience, following the process of transformation from a design concept to a thing.