Academic journal article Visible Language

Vision in Design, a Guidebook for Innovators

Academic journal article Visible Language

Vision in Design, a Guidebook for Innovators

Article excerpt

VISION IN DESIGN, A GUIDEBOOK FOR INNOVATORS paul hekkert and matthijs van dijk amsterdam, nl: bis publishers, 2011 isbn 978-90-6369-205-6 hardbound, 336 pages, illustrated, some in color, $59.00

Since the work of Christopher Alexander and J. Christopher Jones in the 60s and 70s, design methods have been controversial. Arguments against methods have been based on their formulaic nature or focused on what aspects of design they ignore. For many they have been viewed as a technique that impedes creativity with their rational approach. In keeping with more scientific or objective design perspectives, the designer held their personal or intuitive ideas in check and became an instrument for rational analysis and decision making with regard to design process. Also prevalent in these early years was a problem-solving approach that also emphasized the logic, constraints and criteria that would guide solution. More than anything, the view of design methods as rigid frameworks undercut use.

Yet design methods can be useful in many ways, as an agreed upon process among multidisciplinary participants, as techniques to synthesize research and even facilitate new ideas, or as ways to open up difficult problems. Vision in Design (ViP) goes beyond the organizational and functional reasons for methods, and speaks to the issues that prompt designers to ignore methods: feelings, creativity, intuition and values. Designers have never liked to accept external rules and have seen methodology as a straight jacket, or industry rules as too confining and predictable. The methodology promoted here argues that the designer sets the context, not in isolation but informed by factual information, principles, trends- and includes the designer's own subjective feeling and intuition that may lead to artfulness and something new. …

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