Design thinking deals with wicked problems. Because no single objective can be identified in advance, design thinking is aimed at drawing on and synthesizing a wide range of knowledge and influences rather than at optimizing (Huang; Saffer; Owen). For the same reason, it is viewed as interpretive (Lombardi), holistic and integrative (Lombardi; Owen). Both how the problem is framed and how to evaluate possible solutions must be devised as part of the designing process.
In addition to having a rich set of heuristic analogies, metaphors, and topologies to draw upon “design thinking is supported by a rich set of tools, processes, roles and environments” so that “Designers work like craftsmen. They know when to use the right tool at the right time (Tim Brown on Wroblewski).”
(from the article) ” If you wanted to win a market by design, the creed offered two paradigms: The Artist and the Process. Both are ineffective today. The “Artist” can be defined as the business-model behind self-branded design stardom, with the requisite mannerism to justify the stature. The notion that publicity alone makes products fly off the shelf was defamed long ago as Target aborted Philippe Starck’s product-line. The lesson was loud and clear: Products must deliver far more than mere association with stardom. With that in mind, execs will surely think twice before betting the farm on unruly flamboyance. Against that “unreliable” branded-personality design management, multidisciplinary agencies push the notion of large teams and a rigid process. The message of the process crowd is simplistic, “have a few more disciplines in place and we can create the winning product with the right design.” Here comes the ethnographer and the strategist and the focus-group studies and the 500-page dissertations, and so on. I have yet to see any hard proof that these large processes yield higher rates of success in design. I have met more than a few large organizations that will not take this any longer. The process method managed to stifle creativity and nourish argumentative myopics while exhausting corporate budgets and personnel. The case of Doug Bowman, Google’s just-resigned lead designer and the 41 shades of Blue sounds painfully familiar. As you churn out more creative work, more data-points and more “scientific” validation, your design never gets better. “
This article from the AIA web site, describes the automotibile designer as essentially involved in “packaging” – styling the body in order to persuade the consumer to purchase. To what extent do architects limit their activity to packaging?