A key concept in discussion of appropriate design is “design thinking.”
The concept, which has been widely discussed internationally, has become the hottest trend in the field.
So what is design thinking? How does it help us in the creation of appropriate technology and moreover, as its proponents claim, contribute to the world?
Monika Hestad, designer & brand strategist at Brand Valley Design and associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, says design thinking has some answers to bringing about a fundamental change to the world.
|Monika Hestad (Monika Hestad)|
“The conventional innovation or the business operation has worked well in the industrial era. But what we are now living in is much more sophisticated, digitalized and complicated. Now, we must make a fundamental change in the way we think, and become more human-centered,” she said in an interview with The Korea Herald.
The author of the “The Little Booklet on Design Thinking” claims that design thinking covers all areas of a process, from diagnosis of a problem to drawing out an appropriate solution that is human centered.
“I always explain design thinking to be ‘thinking while doing,’ because it is about using actions to develop your thinking. This means drawing a solution or testing various ideas by developing a model or a prototype for a certain issue,” she said.
She said what is recognized as the beauty of design thinking is that the process does not exclude people who are not trained as designers and that it has helped non-designers develop the way designers work. She cited Steve Jobs, and Swedish furniture maker IKEA as perfect examples of a person and an organization who have successfully pulled off design thinking.
Hestad said in order to use design thinking in organizations one will need to be able to embed this in the core of the organization and have an interest in including all stakeholders. She said that design and design thinking can even be powerful in redefining a country’s image.
“A historic example is the Scandinavian exhibition to North America in 1954-1957 which sought to promote the Scandinavian lifestyle. This exhibition was important to coin the term ‘Scandinavian Design,’” she said.
So how can we adopt design thinking in our everyday lives? How can we actually improve even the smallest things and pull off innovation?
“You could start by thinking about the user of the service you are delivering. Make changes that are better fitted for this person and later reflect upon changes that were made and see if these can be improved. If more profound changes need to be made, you could form a small group of people who are affected by the situation and develop a solution that you are testing. In this, try to draw a solution, see the routine through the eyes of the person this routine is designed for and develop this accordingly. It is important to acknowledge that you need a change, and the result will be significant.”
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org