Design Thinking [Appendix A]

There is a process, whatever it may be, that a designer uses. The most common method has been shown here and where different parts of the framework might fit in. This is another way of looking at the different appendices and where they fit in. Just another way to look at things as part of the larger process.

What is the place? Not just physically, but how do you interact in it and what is the experience that people can have in a space. What are the interesting qualities that might help design for that place? Begin defining the site in the context of the prompt, what is there, what can it bring to the project, the project to the site, what are your initial gut reactions that lead to a potential design?

After Pre-Design, this begins to have more defined spaces in response to the program needs and the proportion of each space is now developed. All of these concepts so far have been a part of generating ideas. This process of ideation is often found at the crossing of previous interests or hobbies and current needs or project parameters. By combining what is known and needed there are often exciting results. The parts of the process all connect to each other and rely on knowing the traits of things such as materials, or the program, or any number of topics. This knowledge or a known lack of knowledge become the core for discovering new possibilities and support ideation.

So after trying to develop an idea, look back on what you know, have, and need based on the project at hand. This reflective method should always include how and why the project should be. These representations show the project to others and the mindset or desires you have for the project. Doing something once is not always the best course. Doing and making a project more than once is iterating. By having multiple options or ideas a project can become stronger or build on itself. Having more than one option is fantastic, but how do you choose between different options, or can you combine them? Sometimes choosing only one is best as well; a Frankenstein project is no good.

Choosing is difficult, but there is a method. Combine this with Choosing by Advantages to help make well supported decisions. Then, at some point, take everything so far and begin to represent your ideas using drawing techniques and a systematic process of drawing, modeling and iterating to continue to develop your idea. What is the strong or advantageous parts of the ideas? Which have more or less? What is the context for each being better? Look at the ideas as a sum of their parts and not individual characteristics. An idea that is perfect in one aspect may not be the best overall choice.

Always remember that the space and environment in which you design is as important as the method or process you employ. Where and how do you design?

Other pages to consider for starting out to see the whole process: Site Analysis [Appendix AB], Pre-Design [Appendix AC], Schematic Design [Appendix AD], Ideation [Appendix AE], Characteristic Collection [Appendix AF], Project Criteria [Appendix AG], Representation [Appendix AH], Iteration [Appendix AI], Evaluate Iteration [Appendix AJ], Choose Iteration [Appendix AK], Implementation [Appendix AL], Choosing by advantages [Appendix AM], Studio Method [Appendix AN].