When I started in architectural design school a process was prescribed for us. Research various architectural aspects, program the architecture, design, test, iterate, design, test, iterate, design, test – you get the picture. For years I used these methods without knowing that they had a “name” or explicitly knowing the exact steps to go through to get to the end result. I just did it. As I pursued my PhD I studied human factors and technology and the methods I had been using for years implicitly had explicit names and steps. I surmised that because human factors professionals could define the methods they were using was why they were paid higher than an architect. (A post about that later I’m sure.) However, as I continue to immerse myself in the theory and practice of design I have found that that is not the case. Design is still misunderstood in various contexts and there is an endless discussion about the designer/non-designer chasm. I am beginning to think that I think about thinking about design theory and methodology way too much.
The d.school at Stanford University have done an amazing work to tie the above mindsets with design thinking and in recent years – and truly the last few months – design thinking has had a lot of publicity. Books like Creative Confidence, The Achievement Habit, Design the Life You Love, as well as a full Harvard Business Review magazine have been published. Companies like IDEO and IBM have been the focus of many articles. Additionally, in a recent interview Anna Love Mickelson from stoke.d, an innovation consultancy,d spoke about her excitement about teaching behaviors opposed to methods. All of this has gotten me thinking. What if…
Design mindsets were mindsets? The perceived chasm between designer/non-designer is a farce? You used these mindsets to solve everyday problems? How would you design your life with these truths? How would you create life-long meaning?
These behavior driven mindsets are the way I solve problems. They’re the way I try to live my life. From here on I want to move the discussion beyond designer/non-designer and begin to explore how these mindsets affect problem solving and everyday life.