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Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis
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Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  16 reviews
As the world deals with increasing complexity -- in issues of sustainability, finance, culture and technology -- business and governments are searching for a form of problem solving that can deal with the unprecedented levels of ambiguity and chaos. Traditional "linear thinking" has been disparaged by the popular media as being inadequate for dealing with the global econom ...more
Hardcover, 185 pages
Published January 27th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 31st 2010)
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Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, teaching
I was blown away by the first part of the book, doing a great job of explaining the "magical" part of the design process, and bring voice to the value of the hard to describe element of synthesizing research into a direction. I was a little let down by the latter half, and felt a better job could have been done to describe the processes that might go into reframing or empathy exercises. The techniques read similar to 1980s stereo instructions rather than clearly illustrated exercises. I believe ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Good description of the synthesis process that sits between research & design. As an introduction to the idea of design synthesis as a specific set of methods to be applied in the design process, this is a great read.

The format in which the methods were presented was difficult—it's not clear why, at a given stage of the journey from data->wisdom, one method ought to be chosen over another, or the specific conditions that are best suited to a certain method.

There are a number of case studies. So
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Overly academic in language at times, but some very very good points.
Heleen Boland
An experiences designer can generalize a design problem to a typical design problem. She can anticipate how a problem will unfold, thereby eleminiating fruitless efforts. She can anticipate how external factors can affect the design problem and mitigate these factors. She can model and sketch faster and thereby come to a solution quicker. And she can move to the next step without a prompt.
Jim Razinha
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Little of constructive value to glean from this. Stilted academia in the first part and collected articles on various methods of synthesis for the rest, presented rather woodenly. For less theory and more punch, try Tom Peters's frenetic, staccato ADD short book titled Design ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
And almost a wrap on my Design Methods in Librarianship class for winter quarter!! Enjoyed this book very much!
Mostaque Ahammed
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The methods that have been presented are intended as starting points, upon which you can build your own tools and techniques. The specifics of the method are incidental. What is important is a rigorous approach to synthesis, one that is made explicit through repeatable techniques and one that can be both documented and rationalized.

Design synthesis is a way of thinking about complicated, multifaceted problems with a repeatable degree of success. Design synthesis methods can be applied in the con
Claudia Yahany
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
De diseñadores para ingenieros. La primera parte tiene argumentos muy buenos sobre el valor de la síntesis en el proceso de diseño, la segunda le quita la parte mágica del asunto y describe el proceso de síntesis. La verdad no está equivocado, sólo que no creo que el proceso sea tan rígido.
Hasta hoy, de lo que he leído, creo que el punto está entre "Controlled Chaos" de IDEO (la magia) y esto (un proceso robusto—pero real).
Pete Sena
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explaining creativity and design

As a creative director and design founder I was always searching for ways to explain what happens in between client facing discovery and the magic we deliver as designers. The intersection of art and science is something some call wonder because of how it makes us feel this book breaks down how the mind arrives at these decisions and processes you can repeat with others.
Maciek Lipiec
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
i’ve only read 1/3 of the book and then get bored, but the theory stuff at the beginning is very interesting.
M Hasib
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: hasib
I want to read
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
So far an excellent book, especially as I embark on a new career as a service designer.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm such a Jon Kolko fangirl, and this book is no different. Primarily focusing on synthesis, this is a great book for thoughtful designers
Thomas Zarzecki
Specific design synthesis techniques
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