DESIGN FOR VISUAL EMPOWERMENT

SKETCHNOTING, BREAKING THE RULES
Author:
Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness / Teddy Lu
Company/School:
Iowa State University / Purdue University

 

RECONNECTING THE PAST TO ADVANCE THE FUTURE

In today’s world, the word “Design Thinking” has proliferated into a wide range of processes. As design’s popularity grows, one must wonder “How can we make it more adaptable into the overall process?” Before getting into how it can be done, let’s first observe how it breaks down in history. In pre-Socrates Greece, the understanding of wisdom, then called ‘Sophia’, was defined as ‘the knowing hand’. Thinking and action as well as reflection and production were seen as being a whole and as being equal. Later on, in the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, Sophia was divided into the abstract (the ideal) and the concrete (practical action) as discussed in “The Design Way, Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World” (Nelson & Stolterman 2012). In layman expressions, wisdom has been and for the most part still is divided into thinking and doing. Design in general and design thinking specifically conjoins these two elements. The iterative process of thinking and doing, applying divergent and convergent thinking is at the core of the design process. As such, divergent thinking refers to broadening one’s standpoint while convergent thinking (and doing) narrows down to the specific. This is continuously applied during all phases from research and concept development to implementation (Hunter 2015; Kolko 2014). In order to freely move from divergent to convergent thinking or from one logic to the other, information has to be synthesized into meaningful knowledge; a skill that has to be acquired and often seems (...read more).

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