Monday, 30 March 2009

Has Design Thinking got a problem?

Came across this piece on Sam Ladner’s blog 'Design Research', talking about Design Thinking's Big Problem. Sam says

'So-called “design thinking” is the new It-Girl of management theory. It purports to provide new ways for managers and companies to provide innovative, creative solutions to old problems. But design thinking alone will not solve these problems because a lack of creativity was never the issue.

The real issue is one of power.

[...] '

I am not going to say that I totally agree with Sam, but I like the way she talked about power, as it seems to be something designer try to avoid talking about. Designers love creating, some of them love thinking as well. The power of creating is so familiar to designers, that they don't see it anymore. I came across service designers talking about change people's mind or people's perception of problem solving and being creative, surprisingly, few of them mention power. Designer holds the power - the power to change people's mind simply by amazing them with the process of creating, by getting them involved in the journey of discovering the stories of a product or a service, by sharing tool to create the life they wanted. It may not be hug step forward but at least they nudge - small change make big differences. But somehow the recognition of such power was often underestimated by designer themselves, a strategic approach to claim that power, therefore, gets neglected along the way.