Imagining The Future Through Design Thinking
Arnold Wasserman, runs The Idea Factory in Singapore. I came across this interesting quote from Wasserman, and wanted to share it with you:
Central to design thinking is designersâ€™ unique ability to bring imagined futures to life in the here and now. Most people think about the future as a linear projection of the present. Designers think differently. We inquire deeply into peoplesâ€™ lives todayâ€¦then we take an imaginative leap into normative (desired) futures and then integrate backwards into what has to happen starting Monday morning to bring those futures into being. We create provocationsâ€”depictions, simulations, visual narratives and immersive experiences of future worlds. We progressively iterate technological and social prototypes. We invent day-in-the-life scenarios of specific people in those worlds engaged moment-by-moment in life, work, play, learning and mobility. In addition, designers have an ability (almost an obdession) to take massive of undifferentiated information and make knowledge structures out of itâ€”assembly it into visual models and frameworks that give it clarity and meaning and make it usable for decision making.
We often think of design thinking as a process for solving our most immediate problem, so I found Wasserman’s quote of interest because he sees it as a process that will also allow us to imagine the future as well.
Creativity Doesn’t Come Easy
From John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design and author of “The Laws of Simplicity”:
Photo and music editing software can make creativity seem easy. But I’m concerned about the way we assess creativity these days. Look at corporations: when they want to get “creative,” they bring in the beanbag chairs and make people play games and have “brainstorming sessions.” But the truth is, creativity doesn’t come easy. It comes hard. It demands discipline and knowledge and application.”
Hmm. I wonder how David Kelley of IDEA would respond to that statement?
Design Starts With the Experience
From Robert Brunner, an award-winning designer and author of “Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company”:
If you’re creating a product or service, everything must work from the customer experience. Great companies don’t think in terms of “moving products” – they think in terms of moving people. Design is the way you connect, and therefore should drive development. I believe that design is about capturing and communicating ideas, and doing it in a way that draws people in.
By the way, the quotes from Maeda and Brunner come from a Samsung advertisement I found in Time magazine. The ad focused on “Designs on the Future”. Another sign perhaps of the growing appreciation of design thinking in popular culture.