Design vs. Design thinking

I’ve been pondering the so called divide between "design" and "design thinking" and I’ve come up with a few thoughts on the differences. One of the first things I’ll say is that you cannot compare the two to say one is better than the other. To me, these are two different strategies which one chooses according to the need. Let me elaborate,

Design is…

  • focus on portfolios, awards, etc
  • focus on solutions
  • focus on understanding the project, product, tech specs, criteria
  • focus on "going away to work on the project and will return with
    concepts to show you"
  • focus on "right now" design

"Design thinking" is…

  • focus on strategy, brand building, organizational core competency
  • focus on (framing the right) problem
  • focus on understanding your company, objectives, corporate strategy,
    business challenges
  • focus on collaborating with client, embedding in the organization, using design thinking techniques to make client come up with the right "problem
  • focus on "where do you want to go"

Each has it’s place in the organization, a good design strategy uses each appropriately.

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2 Responses to Design vs. Design thinking

  1. Perspective says:

    Organizations and Conferences

    The area where business and design, design thinking if you will, come together is coalescing into a critical mass. For me, this shows signs of consolidation, that this will become a field of specialization, that may not be the darling

  2. Niti,
    Reading this rekindled some thoughts of my own. I kind of took apart how you explained this in my own post, but don’t mean to dismiss it in anyway. Or consider it to be your final words on the matter. In fact, in my long-winded and perhaps distracted way, hope I’ve contributed a little to your point. My thoughts can be found on my space – if interested/have time. Thanks for the spark nonetheless.

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