I have been thinking about this for a long time. What is the difference between a product, service, place or even ritual that has evolved over the years, with no conscious working on it, and a product, service, place or ritual that has been designed recently by a designer with design education or practice experience?
In both cases the ‘object’ or ‘objective’ has been designed. Anything humans make or conceive can be said to be designed… someone planned it and took action. I guess the difference is the ‘thought’; the first set of ‘objects’ may have been designed without the application of thought in a certain way, so the evolution took years and centuries to reach where it is now. The second set has involved conscious thought to design, so we have perfect results in one go.
Many sciences where the ‘thought’ is a question of life and death have used current resources to Think Design. Medical Science is one example. You would not cut open a person and then think about what you had to do. Thought always comes before action in such matters.
More and more, modern industry is realizing the potential of Design Thinking to quickly evolve ‘object’ strategy and plans; and this shows quick results for some of them. But whenever Design Thinking is not followed by Design Activity (Design Action), the gain is marginal.
While managers, CEOs, strategists, planners and other non-designers are embracing Design Thinking, designers themselves need to move on to ‘Thinking Design’, a design action that is informed by thought. You will hear more about this soon.
Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief