What is your artistic process

DesignThinking - artistic development or strict process?

DesignThinking - artistic development or strict process?

What are the first associations with the word design in relation to DesignThinking? In German-speaking countries, we combine “design” with the pure appearance of objects. We think of red or angular, of the color and shape design. Sometimes we think of the design, creative, creative activity, of painting and drawing. Is DesignThinking an artistic creation process? The word design in design thinking has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon language area. "Design" here not only stands for the creation, but also for the drafting and development of objects and systems. It encompasses both conceptual and technical design. To design means “to conceive something”. This is exactly what DesignThinking is all about. Solutions for complex problems are developed, (almost) completely independent of their aesthetic appearance.

DesignThinking is a method set for innovation development. It is an iterative process with benefits and customer-oriented results.

And what is its relationship to the artistic approach? What does art actually mean? The work of art is a human cultural product, the result of a creative process. Art is any developed activity that is based on knowledge, practice, perception, imagination and intuition, according to Brockhaus. And here, too, there is an underlying process: the painter takes the pencil and paper in her hand, develops a sketch in advance, maybe discards it again and redo it, goes to the canvas, sketches, applies paint.

DesignThinking also follows a process that is divided into the following phases:

  1. Understand: in a first step, the team drafts the question, formulates and investigates problem areas and develops its own understanding of the problem area.
  2. Observe: in a second step, the team researches the perspective of the users impartially and as unreservedly as possible and gains further insights into the formulated problem.
  3. Point-of-View: In a third step, the team condenses the findings and results into a focus point of the problem.
  4. Ideation: in a fourth step, as many ideas as possible are generated based on the last focus point set.
  5. Prototype: in a fifth step, the team picks out an idea and concretizes it in a prototype.
  6. Test: This is tested on the users in a sixth step.

Each of these phases includes countless methods that are used depending on the project and topic and can be modified accordingly. The individual steps do not have to be followed stringently, depending on the needs of the process, the team jumps to the most suitable phase for the next step with the most suitable method. The first two steps can also be referred to together as the “empathize” phase.

Empathy, both for users and for internal team communication, is an essential feature of the DesignThinking process. Other features include:

  • A positive approach to failure - every failure is an opportunity to learn in quick and short iterative cycles
  • Building feedback within the team - it says "yes and ..." instead of "yes but ...". The latter acts like a brake in the flow of the process
  • Interdisciplinarity - DesignThinking lives from different perspectives and interpretations.
  • Flexible and experimental - it is tried out, discarded, redesigned, ... and as flexible as the procedure is, the thinking of the team members is as flexible and thus also the possibility of flexible and quick spatial changes
  • Tangible results - the results become visible and tangible through prototypes

DesignThinking is a process of creative activity, creating something new. The incomprehensible becomes tangible.

"Art is a mediator of the inexpressible" (Johann W. Goethe)

In companies such as SAB, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Allianz, Volkswagen, Roche and so on, DesignThinking is a living practice. Companies expect innovative solutions from this, be it groundbreaking innovations or incremental adaptations of products, services, processes or systems. With its customer-oriented and exploratory approach, DesignThinking helps to specify questions more precisely and, if necessary, to correct them completely. The work of art in DesignThinkings will never be finished; it can always be rethought and changed. What about art here? DesignThinking treats complex problem areas in a playful way. DesignThinking is a variant of creating a new way of dealing with the complexity of our time.

“As a child, everyone is an artist. The difficulty lies in remaining one as an adult. "(Pablo Picasso)



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