Paul Pangaro: Rethinking design thinking

Design, says Paul Pangaro in this 2010 PICNIC Festival talk, is a process that begins with the impulse to make thinks better.

As I mentioned in a post on the new film Design + Thinking, I’m using this talk in my systems thinking class, and I’ve started to follow Pangaro’s description of the design thinking process.

What is design thinking? Basically, it’s a process of ethnography, ideation, and iteration. He then suggests clarifying these three steps as: design for conversations, find a focusing problem, and prototype a solution. And he further proposes that we view conversation itself as both means and ends. That is, that we view design as a process of conversation and the goal of design as for conversations among those who will utilize or experience our designs.

See the slides for this talk here.

What I hope is that viewing it this way let’s us think about this process as repeatable, transparent, directed, and measurable. …

The ethical thing, as designers, is to give humans the opportunity to have the conversation they want to have. And ultimately so that they can become their own designers. Designers of their experiences, designers of their preferences, designers of their conversations.

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