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Design Thinking and Doing (Vol. 24 No.2)

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Design Thinking & Doing


The ongoing debate about the phrase design thinking has been a source of amusement: Designers seem to get tired of their own vocabulary well before the rest of the world even knows what they are talking about. There are many who dismiss design thinking as an inaccurate description of a more strategic use of design. Others will say, like Donald Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things, that “what is being labeled as ‘design thinking’ is what creative people in all disciplines have always done.” This may be true, but the growth and influence of design thinking and its application to larger strategic problems continues to achieve a few important things in organizations:

1. Changing perspectives: For many, design is no longer a department to help “make pretty,” but rather a resource that can serve as a powerful component of the strategic toolbox for uncovering needs, reframing market opportunities, designing new business models, visualizing strategy, reducing risk, and making a major contribution to the top and bottom lines.


2. Integrating organizations: Design thinking has helped many organizations see designers and design methods as an integrating force to break down traditional boundaries and silos in ways that release creativity and enable organizations to better adapt to the necessity of change.


3. Expanding disciplined creativity: By shifting the conversation and context of design from products and communication to systems, services, and strategic solutions, designers are making their presence felt far beyond the borders of corporate design departments by tackling “wicked problems” that governments and traditional bureaucracies have been unable to resolve.





A.G. Lafley, Don Norman, Tim Brown , & Roger Martin

The Design Discussion: Questions for all of us
Craig Vogel; Heather Frasier, Designworks; Tim Brown, IDEO; Jeanne Liedtka

An Incomplete, Over-Generalized Nano-History of Design and Business
Patrick Whitney

Bruce Nussbaum

The Future of Design Thinking in Australia: Barriers and Opportunities
Leanne Sobel and Lars Groeger

Stepping Up: Beyond Design Thinking
Kevin McCullagh

Can Design Thinking Still Add Value?
Hilary Collins

Theaters for Design Thinking
Tom Inns

Design Joins the Battle Against Sickle-Cell Disease
Lori Crosby; Naomi Joffe; Linda Dunseath; Rachel Lee

Walking the Walk: Putting Design at the Heart of Business
Paul Gardien and Ferdy Gilsing

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Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life

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