Defining Design Thinking

Design Thinking Ideas?
Following our last post on defining design, here are some of the definitions currently in use to describe design thinking. There are far fewer examples of what design thinking is and many examples of what it is not. Perhaps this is one of the reasons design thinking is often contested in various circles.

> Design thinking is something inherent within human cognition: it is a key part of what makes us human – Nigel Cross (2011)

> Design thinking is what people do when they pursue their goals…Design thinking is a more powerful, comprehensive and creative form of purposeful thinking that can be applied to interpret or resolve complex, confusing, or unanticipated situations whenever and however they occur. – Charles Burnett,

> Design thinking is an essential mental process in accelerating and promoting innovation. Design thinking essentially brings together observation and imagination. – Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

> Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity – Tim Brown, IDEO

> Design thinking is a human-centered innovation process that emphasizes observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualization of ideas, rapid concept prototyping, and concurrent business analysis – Thomas Lockwood (2009).


Image: Shutterstock, used under license

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