The rise of design thinking has to do with the grater understanding of the methods and process developed in the design. Processes have been established (analysis -> ideation -> prototype -> iteration -> implementation), and tools have been defined (brainstorming, rapid prototyping, body storming, storytelling, what if …, role-play, desktop walkthrough, service safaris …) in order to transmit and generate truly collective process. This deeper understanding has led to an explosion of applications in and out of design: business, management, services, science, politics, organization … and is supported by the following principles:
+ An holistic resolution of the problems. An approach to the problem from all possible angles. Do not break a problem into parts, but try to cover everything at once.
+ The user is the center of the process (user centered design). It is the common language when working in multidisciplinary teams. The user is the goal and also participates in the process.
+ It is a participatory and collaborative process (co-creation). Everyone can be creative. Creativity is not so much a gift but an ability to listening ideas and articulate them through your experience. The design thinker creates consciously an environment that facilitates the generation and evaluation of ideas in a heterogeneous group of agents.
+ The process is constantly changing: it never repeats systematically and we have to be actively creative with the process itself.
If architecture follows the path which the design has begun, then it will produce very interesting improvements and modifications in both directions.
1. The architecture is facing problems or situations in which a plastical, formal or spatial approach is not enough, we must improve and adapt the tools and processes to approach creatively issues like management, finance, marketing, use, participation, and so on. There are many examples like: La Petatera, the Aucoc square, One Thousand Square … These are solutions to larger problems which are not possible to deal only transforming the physical environment. There is much more. Working in creative processes for other companies and organizations (independently from architecture) can be interesting to acquire the knowledge and ability to deal with such issues.
2. On the other hand, the act of participating and creating design processes from the architectural knowledge enables these companies and organizations to introduce new tools in their processes.
The design thinking extends its tools and methods that came essentially from product design, user experience, design services, etc… And architecture can face problems with an holistic approach, allowing architects to act in situations which previously were unknown.
IDEO (product design) and OMA/AMO (architecture) are large structures with many types of projects, both have depth in an intense way in the creative process and have reached a similar conclusion: the creative processes of design (especially collective) are applicable to a variety of situations, even in antagonistic disciplines such as politics, management, marketing, etc..
“Maybe, architecture doesn’t have to be stupid after all. Liberated from the obligation to construct, it can become a way of thinking about anything – a discipline that represents relationships, proportions, connections, effects, the diagram of everything.” Rem Koolhaas, AMO-OMA and &&&, Content (Köln: Taschen, 2004), p. 20.
Examples and references:
 IDEO | A Design and Innovation Consulting Firm
 Liberal Arts and the Bottom Line – Business – The Atlantic
 Design Thinking – Articles – News – IDEO
 MASSIVE CHANGE
 “The Future Of Innovation is Holistic And Networked” by Mr Tom Hulme
 Why Design Matters – BusinessWeek
 What is Design Thinking Anyway? : Observatory: Design Observer
 Reinventing the MBA: 4 Reasons to Mix Business With Design Thinking | Fast Company
 Tim Brown urges designers to think big | Video on TED.com
 Juan freire: El valor de la diversidad: consenso y conflicto para la innovación
 The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm . Tom Kelley, Jonathan Littman, Tom Peters.
 Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value. Thomas Lockwood .
 Change by Design. Tim Brown.
 Design thinking = Design thinking (artículo). Edwin Gardner. Volume (#25 being there getting there).
 Design Thinking… What is That? | Fast Company
 Paul Isakson: IDEO’s Business Model Visualization Tool, Explained by Tom Hulme
 El caparazón » Blog Archive » Design thinking: Llegó el momento de la transformación.
 John Maeda: Looking for Superman :: Videos :: The 99 Percent
 Making ideas happen. Scott Belsky.
 This is service design thinking.
Proceedings of the 21st National Conference…
Some valid points….
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The information herein presented on the topic of “Architectural Design Thinking” is succinctly put. It informs a research I’m currently running. Thanks loads to the brains behind these findings. Thumbs up.