Using methods for designing

Generally, when I explain about my research many designers and colleagues ask me about if it is worth to propose a design method, because designers do not usually follow any kind of method when designing. However, as I am a bit stubborn and completely convince about the applicability and usefulness of my research, I tend to defend the rational side of the design process and the utility of following a method. For this, I used to argue that one of the main reasons of being against methods is being lazy to think. Related to this, I would like to share a short text of John C. Jones, that, even written in the 80s, I found quite descriptive of the current designers’ situation:

Rigour, in using methods. I find, in talking to readers of the book [Design Methods], that few are prepared for the rigour with which it is necessary to follow a method if it is to make a difference to one’s habitual way of setting about designing. There is a tendency to let even simple methods, like brainstorming, degenerate into being something not usefully different from the kind of undirected chatting and ‘research’ that takes place in any design office. To use methods presented here one has to be willing, particularly at first, to follow each step exactly as described if one is to get a different order, or scale, of result. For instance, in a properly conducted brainstorm session, six people will almost certainly produce 70 to 150 ideas in about 30 minutes: in the kind of chatting that most people call brainstorming they will produce only dozen ideas, or less. The rigour of the method is what permits a higher aim, a wider view. But of course the thinking must be imaginative, not conventional.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: