Design thinking

Treasure Hunt

I have been reading a thought-provoking book by Alice Rawsthorn entitled Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, analysing the pervasive presence and multi-facted role of design.

Rawsthorn shows how ‘design thinking’ (in David Kelly’s phrase) can help us to analyse problems, find solutions and persuade others to adopt them. She persuasively argues that design is not just high-end styling, but also includes aspects of psychology, sociology, communication and politics.

Josiah Wedgwood was engaging in design thinking when he brought together kiln technology, aesthetics, logistics and marketing to create and sell his eponymous ceramics. But so are the street traders and itinerant technicians of present-day Beijing when they customise their battered tricycles to suit their individual needs.

I don’t agree with everything Rawsthorn posits in this book, but that is partly what makes it an engaging read. She equates good design with moral integrity, which I find slightly problematic. Weapons…

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