Design Thinking Readings: Going Deeper | Erik Stolterman | Dec. 9, 2012 | Transforming Grounds

Deepen design thinking, says @estolter, through philosophical and theoretical development, both from existing traditions and a building a new tradition. A annotated list of background references is provided.

…the purpose of this post is to push the design thinking field towards more depth. If the field want to stay relevant it can not only develop its applicability, it also has to develop its basic foundation. Such a foundation will not be built by an increasing stream of books that popularizes design thinking (even if that is also needed), but by connecting design thinking to existing philosophical and theoretical schools of thinking. Design thinking has to distinguish itself by comparing and contrasting itself to other existing ways of thinking by delving into underlying core ideas and assumptions. This can be done by relating design thinking to existing philosophical traditions, but also by developing design thinking as its own tradition. Both are needed.

Going deeper is not a search for an answer. You will not be able to “find” a ready-made design thinking philosophy in any readings. You have to read it all and compose an overall understanding. And this is where individual effort comes into play–you have to do the work–read and think. We are of course all looking forward to the day when someone is really successful with that composition and able to express it in a book that can help us all.

Familiar names (at least to me) include:

  • Herbert Simon
  • Horst Rittel
  • Donald Schon
  • Klaus Krippendorf
  • Christopher Alexander
  • Albert Borgmann
  • M. Csikzentmihalyi
  • Bruno Latour
  • C. West Churchman
  • T.S. Kuhn
  • N. Cross

Full article as “Design Thinking Readings: Going Deeper” | Erik Stolterman | Dec. 9, 2012 | Transforming Grounds

Transforming Grounds: Design Thinking Readings: Going Deeper


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