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The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World
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The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Humans did not discover fire--they designed it. Design is not defined by software programs, blueprints, or font choice. When we create new things--technologies, organizations, processes, systems, environments, ways of thinking--we engage in design. With this expansive view of design as their premise, in The Design Way, Harold Nelson and Erik Stolterman make the case for de ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published July 27th 2012 by MIT Press (MA) (first published January 1st 2003)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  80 ratings  ·  7 reviews

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Dillon Ashcroft
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Something that should be on more reading lists. Not just designers, but with the way that design thinking is influencing other practices, it's relevant to business and general thinking equally. Jargon and terminology may be specific to design, but the ideas around judement as wisdom, and desiderata are philosophically interesting generally. Specific to design, it clearly lays out contemporary thinking, and has pointed out to me and clarified ideas and authors which I can further pursue. Toynbee' ...more
Am Y
Dec 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Judgment making is essential to design. It does not replicate decision making but it is as necessary. The ability to make solid design judgments is often what distinguishes a stellar designer from a mediocre one." - Quoted from chapter 8 of this book. If you like philosophising about design, inventing truckloads of fanciful jargon to describe your baseless generalisations, and finally coming up with conclusions that everyone else already knew, then this book is for you.
Chris Beiser
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: given-up-on
I really liked Thoughtful Interaction Design, so I thought I'd like this. Nope. It shares with Thoughtful Interaction Design a kind of obtuse prose, which served TID in making arguments from the ground up. Unfortunately, this book seems primarily to be based on a desire to elevate the status of design by codifying its methodology and the provenance thereof by finding intellectual precursors and creating a shared 'design epistemology'. Shaky already, it proceeds to not mention engineering and its ...more
Subhrajit Das
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux-books
I had this book for my Design Theory course taught by Prof. Erik Stolterman at Indiana University. Amazing read, if you get the gist of schemas and ideas being expressed in the book. I would highly recommend this book for designers interested in application of design thinking in other disciplines like business, pedagogy, art and architecture. Shoot me an email if you have any comments and/or recommendations about the book. I might drop by Erik's (Stolterman's) office for his thoughts :).
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-2014
Not sure that I really bought all the arguments or found them particularly enlightening. I think one thing that would have helped was more concrete examples, as it's clear the authors have experiences they're referring to but by refusing to get too specific make it difficult to know for sure you're translating their arguments correctly. Still, there are a few gems in the book.
Deeply probes the practice of design. To the mature designer a truly accurate codification of the design experience... For everyone else probably a bit academic. Still, an illuminating book that deeply explains design.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring, very clever, intense bit of research on design the design process from a variety of perspectives. Designers who like to think as well as make will enjoy it.
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“The focus on problems, whether wicked or tame, as the primary justifiable trigger for taking action in human affairs has limited our ability to frame change as an outcome of intention and purpose.” 0 likes
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