design thinking

adding page this day (and not talking time/energy to add ie: wikipedia; ideo; et al for their take on it.. just adding this for now.. as it resonates w my long time gut feeling of design thinking.. backwards by design .. et al)

Co.Design (@FastCoDesign) tweeted at 5:21 AM – 29 Sep 2018 :
Design thinking is the opposite of inclusive design (

NYU professor Natasha Iskander argues that design thinking only serves to uphold the status quo.

Natasha Iskander (

the methodology–long championed by Ideo as a six-step process that can solve any problem, no matter how complex–also has its detractors. Pentagram partner Natasha Jen has called it bullshit. Others have decried it as a cult, or as common sense dressed up as expensive consulting.

Design thinking privileges the designer above the people she serves, and in doing so limits participation in the design process.”

thinking of all theideo competitions/challenges.. and the hoops to jump thru .. boxes to get inside.. just to submit.. it was like a kinder version of graeber grant law

Even in the design thinking phase “empathize,” where the designer is supposed to listen to users and understand their perspective, it is still the designer who is deciding what elements of the users’ experience are relevant

and.. like school.. et al.. you listen to users and understand perspective.. on a given.. you’re not just listening to their perspective on life..

what we need is something like cure ios city as the open space for listening..

Iskander compares it to a similar technique called rational-experimental problem solving, which was popular in the 1970s and ’80s:

“They turn the everyday ability to solve a problem into a rarefied practice, limited only to those who self-consciously follow a specialized methodology.In fact, problem-solving is always messy and most solutions are shaped by political agendas and resource constraints. The solutions that win out are not necessarily the best—they are generally those that are favored by the powerful or at least by the majority. Both rational experimentation and design thinking provide cover for this political calculus. They make a process that is deeply informed by social and economic structures seem merely technical or aesthetic.”

These two problems make design thinking, by definition, exclusionary. And that, Iskander writes, “has allowed us to celebrate conventional solutions as breakthrough innovations and to continue with business as usual.”

What’s the solution to design thinking’s inclusivity problem? Iskander calls it “interpretive *engagement”–a new methodology that is focused less on bite-size steps and more on grappling with problems and all the politics that surround them

maybe.. i’m thinking we need to go deeper.. to get to the energy of 7bn alive people.. so that we’re not even talking about *engagement.. and we have different and fewer problems to solve (maybe she’s saying this too.. i didn’t read extended)

all the pushback against design thinking can lead somewhere more thoughtful, that includes all the messiness of the real world and real people

ie: meadows undisturbed ecosystem

in the city.. as the day.. via gershenfeld something else law

more about listening than problem solving.. as it could be..

ie: 2 convers.. as infra


fb share by Manish – design thinking is fundamentally conservative and preserves the status quo

(by same author from above..Natasha Iskander.. longer version here.. 2 min read above)

most critics have missed the main problem with design thinking. It is, at its core, a strategy to preserve and defend the status-quo — and an old strategy at that. Design thinking privileges the designer above the people she serves, and in doing so limits participation in the design process. In doing so, it limits the scope for truly innovative ideas, and makes it hard to solve challenges that are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty — like climate change — where doing things the way we always have done them is a sure recipe for disaster.


They turn the everyday ability to solve a problem into a rarified practice, limited only to those who self-consciously follow a specialized methodology.


The aperture embodied in the Living Breakwaters project offers an alternative to the closure built into design thinking. It illustrates a design process where the designer is dethroned and where design is less a step-by-step march through a set of stages and more of a space where people can come together and interpret the ways that changing conditions challenge the meanings, patterns, and relationships that they had long taken for granted. That process of interpretation can be unpredictable, sometimes unwieldy in both form and in duration, impossible to chart, and often only visible in retrospect. But it is precisely this inchoate messiness that makes interpretation generative: the insights people stumble upon by accident or patch together on the fly not only provide the basis for innovative solutions. They also allow a complete re-imagination of what counts as a solution to begin with.

Elsewhere, I have called this approach interpretive engagement,” and have described it as a process of collaborative and wide-ranging interpretation, where participants revisit the understandings they have about themselves and others, as well as about the changing world they live in. It represents a commitment to a process with no clear beginning and end, with a goal that is often no more explicitly defined than imaging and articulating new ways to meet changes that are still murky and immeasurable.


schmachtenberger meta law

1:00 – evolution leads to radical interdependent complexities.. tech allows selection over short term of something that’s independent of its relationship with the rest of the whole.. as soon as we get that those are fundamentally.. mathematically diff..

1\ design gives us complicated systems that are all fragile.. finite number of parameters..

2\ complexity.. antifragility.. happens by self org..

we don’t really know how to do that but we do know how to debase it.. t.. we know how to have the complicated debase the complex.. the substrate on which it depends.. that’s how we get increasing fragility until we have collapse