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Dreaming Design Thinking via Bruce Nussbaum’s ‘Design Thinking Is A Failed Experiment’ (Part 1) April 10, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in creativity, design.
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[Image source: Radio 3 BBC.co.uk]

Was following Bruce Nussbaum’s Design Thinking Is A Failed Experiment.

And the first thing that came to my mind was that it is jingle. A lot appears to be in the grey. His book is going to be out next year and I have the feeling he wants to get some feedback.

Personally a great many questions come to my mind:

Can we actually learn to be creative by following certain behaviours? Yes. But can we imitate them? NO. Why? Because I think creativity involves originality. If you imitate behaviours,  you may get a display of ‘ideas’ but you’ll miss the essence.

Design thinking is linked to creativity. As in any good thought processes, creativity is part of the quotient. We may try to measure them but in reality part of it is intrinsic and abstract. We cannot measure a person’s creativity as in the form of a formula. In my opinion, it doesn’t work. A creative person is so because it is his/her habit to observe in a curious, inspired, positive and inquisitive way — in a way that is intelligent, astute, wise and even playful. Always acquiring knowledge in an apt and diversified, non dogmatic and open mind. So is design thinking a failed experiment? I doubt it. It can be if only it is used in a silly way which any form of thinking would end up to be anyway.

Nussbaum appears to try to audit creativity. But measuring it makes it resembles that of another form of test. And tests do not exactly measure one’s ability due to a set form of criterias. It may serve as a guide but the guide can never be really wise to use as an absolute measure. It sounds like an subjective ranking system which I feel could be demeaning.

Design thinking is often seen as a failure perhaps of the quality of the research. Design methods do not solve big problems because of the nature of knowledge used. People in hard core sciences often see design methodologies and solutions in an inferior way as it solves ‘soft problems’. Problems that seem to look ‘less intelligent’ and even ‘cheap’. Its a brand image that the design profession needs to smartly change.All problems could be big or small. There is nothing wrong or less intelligent to solve ‘small problems’, but I often feel the image of the design profession is always short of being ‘intellectual’ somewhat.

Personally, I see true creativity when someone is able to structure their thoughts and mould it according to different scenarios of problems very aptly and efficiently. They invent systems. The most creative is able to make do with what is given and set forth. Such a person can not only solve aesthetic issues in the arts form, but can also solve a large variety of other problems in other fields like economics, social, and even life problems. I never see creativity in solely in its art or arts form. Its not a complete perspective of what creative means. It cheapens it. Design is about everything under the sky and beyond. If we need to tackle a problem, we need to know in an all rounded way. If we need to become effective problem solvers, and earn credibility; we must show our intelligence in holding substance in able to answer problems in many areas.

Can’t type anymore. Unknowingly its already 2:27am !! Will stop here for now. –  Karen Fu

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