Tag Design Theory

Beyond design thinking: Design-as-practice and designs-in-practice

Recent publications by scholars, practitioners and government bodies claim that design, or rather design thinking, has the power to stimulate or drive innovation and transform organizations and even societies.

But the term “design thinking” is confused and the literature on which it is based is contradictory. This paper contributes to understanding design activity and its effects by reviewing literature and identifying problems with the concept drawing on theories of practice in sociology, science and technology studies and organization studies. It proposes an alternative way of conceiving of design activity, without privileging the work done by designers, by attending to the practices of others involved in constituting design outcomes. Introducing a pair of concepts – design-as-practice and designs-in-practice – to replace design thinking solves a number of problems facing researchers in design and management. The paper’s contribution is to make an explicit link between design and social science in order to advance understanding about designers’ work and value creation.

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Author: Lucy Kimbell
Department: Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

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Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the year 2020

The question persists and indeed grows whether the computer will make it easier or harder for human beings to know who they really are, to identify their real problems, to respond more fully to beauty, to place adequate value on life, and to make their world safer than it now is.

In March 2007, Microsoft Research organised the ‘HCI 2020’ meeting at the El Bulli Hacienda Hotel near Seville, Spain. The event’s title expressed its key question: what will HumanComputer Interaction (HCI) be like in the year 2020? That question is important because HCI, significant as it was in the late 20th century, has a pivotal part to play in the 21st, when computers will become so pervasive that how humans interact with them will be a crucial issue for society.

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