Abstract

Design Thinking is frequently argued to be unlike scientific thinking. Existing literature questions the validity of this differentiation with regards to: the characterisation of scientific thinking in design research; the notion that designers are more effective than scientists at generating empathy with users; the idea that scientific problems are not wicked. Such research posits commonalities between the way designers and scientists think. In further investigating the relationship between design and scientific thinking, this paper explores the issue of inductive reasoning. Frequently, research suggests that designers do not rely on inductive reasoning. This paper revisits Rowe’s (1987) study which observes designers to commonly employ it. Rowe’s work provides further evidence of a link between design and scientific thinking. This paper calls for additional research into such links in order to optimise design’s potential. In also suggests that highlighting commonalities between design and scientific thinking may support access to government funding, and thus the future prosperity of design in UK universities.

Keywords:

design thinking, scientific thinking; inductive reasoning; wicked problems; STEM funding; empathy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Design Thinking: A Rod For Design’s Own Back?

Design Thinking is frequently argued to be unlike scientific thinking. Existing literature questions the validity of this differentiation with regards to: the characterisation of scientific thinking in design research; the notion that designers are more effective than scientists at generating empathy with users; the idea that scientific problems are not wicked. Such research posits commonalities between the way designers and scientists think. In further investigating the relationship between design and scientific thinking, this paper explores the issue of inductive reasoning. Frequently, research suggests that designers do not rely on inductive reasoning. This paper revisits Rowe’s (1987) study which observes designers to commonly employ it. Rowe’s work provides further evidence of a link between design and scientific thinking. This paper calls for additional research into such links in order to optimise design’s potential. In also suggests that highlighting commonalities between design and scientific thinking may support access to government funding, and thus the future prosperity of design in UK universities.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.