A powerful myth has arisen upon the land, a myth that permeates business, academia, and government. It is pervasive and persuasive. But although it is relatively harmless, it is false.
The myth? That designers possess some mystical, creative thought process that places them above all others in their skills at creative, groundbreaking thought. This myth is nonsense, but like all myths, it has a certain ring of plausibility although lacking any evidence.
Why should we perpetuate such nonsensical, erroneous thinking? Because it turns out to be a very useful way to convince people that designers do more than make things look pretty. Never let facts stand in the way of utility.
At the recent Design Research conference in Seattle, the consensus reportedly held that whether or not you like the term, design thinking is here to stay. At a recent panel discussion in New York, “Design Thinking: Dead or Alive?” it was hard to find any of the speakers (of which I was one) quibbling with more than the fact that it wasn’t a very interesting question.
Born in the wake of Ferguson, the Creative Reaction Lab rejects “design thinking” for a more inclusive approach to systemic inequality.
In the days after a police officer shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, August 9, 2014, Antionette Carroll watched as her hometown erupted in protest. For weeks, hundreds of people showed up to the suburb of St. Louis to demonstrate opposite police in riot gear. Behind the scenes, community leaders and groups met to discuss the implications of recent events on a city deeply divided along racial lines, and to decide what to do next.
Design Thinking is created not only because Tim Brown coined the word that became a buzzword. There’s a logical reason to it.
Design thinking is created because big corporation lack the ability to be creative and on extreme cases, aren’t able to create new products and services that meet unmet needs of their customers. Because of 20th century education system that fostered dominant logic and disregard creativity, people grew up with an overpowered mindset and skill-set of managing value. Hence, defines the corporations today that are run by boomers and Gen X.
These days there’s a lot of talk – and a lot of executive education – revolving around “design thinking”. Companies like Apple, Netflix, Facebook and others are disrupting industries and business models left and right. And with these developments comes the realization that traditional approaches to problem-solving are no longer enough. So, across industries around the world, attention is shifting to design thinking as an approach for unleashing creativity and innovation in organisations.