The Contribution of the Vertical Design Disciplines to Design Thinking

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This paper investigates the characteristics of the contribution of the vertical
(traditional) design disciplines to design thinking and ways to support design
students’ motivation to participate in design thinking courses. The questions
are examined through a case study where students from six design disciplines
engage in a design thinking course and are explicitly encouraged to include
approaches from their respective disciplines. Findings indicate that the
inclusion of the vertical approaches lead to heightened motivation and passion
about the project, a change in the team dynamics from ‘talking’ to ‘creating’
and a general acceleration of the design thinking process. Interestingly, a
pattern surfaces: Design students associate design thinking with a set of
qualities that sharply contrast with those of their specific design disciplines:
Collaboration versus individual work; slow versus fast-paced; talking and
writing versus sketching and prototyping; abstract versus concrete; objective
versus subjective; serious and disciplined versus passionate and playful. The
finding mirrors existing research showing that the navigation between pairs of
opposites enables and drives the creative process. Hence, the six sets of
opposites identified in the present study can be applied as underlying
dynamics and building blocks in the design of a design thinking process.
Translated title of the contributionDe vertikale designdiscipliners bidrag til designtænkning
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAround the Campfire - Resilience and intelligence : Cumulus Conference Proceedings Rovaniemi 2019
EditorsJonna Häkkilä, Minna Pakanen, Elina Luiro, Enni Mikkonen, Satu Miettinen
Number of pages13
Publication date29 May 2019
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-337-158-3 (pdf)
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019
EventCumulus Conference Rovaniemi 2019: Around the Campfire - Resilience and Intelligence - University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Duration: 27 May 20191 Jun 2019


ConferenceCumulus Conference Rovaniemi 2019
LocationUniversity of Lapland
Internet address
SeriesCumulus Conference Proceedings Series

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