Design Thinking: A Useful Myth

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.


Read article: A Useful Myth

More about: Don Norman

Can innovation be reduced to a process?

Helen Walters on the persistent problems with design thinking, and the attempts to graft its processes onto businesses. Rumours of the failure of design thinking appear to have been somewhat overblown.

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.

Read article by Helen Walters

Want to Fight Inequality?

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.

Read the article: Forget Design Thinking