oliverdamian: anti-fragile design

Design Thinking Journal

Design Thinking | Winter Semester 2015 | University of Technology, Sydney

Man, the imperfect librarian, may be the product of chance or of malevolent demiurgi; the universe, with its elegant endowment of shelves, of enigmatic volumes, of inexhaustible stairways for the traveller and latrines for the seated librarian, can only be the work of a god

In a way design is like searching through Borges's library of Babel. It is full of uncertainty. As what Kees Dorst said in his lecture: ‘people who like uncertainty make good designers’. Design is an open-ended process. It is like walking through the shelves of Borges's library to find concepts & forms, and continuing to iterate & refine them.

Highs & lows

The design process goes in leaps and bounds. I should learn from failure & lows as well as highs & successes.

Cognitive tools

But there are cognitive tools I could use to tame this uncertainty:

  1. Deduction: what + how leads to ???;
  2. Induction: what + ??? leads to result;
  3. Abduction-1: ??? + how leads to value;
  4. Abduction-2: ??? + ??? leads to value; and
design reasoning by developing or adopting a frame: WHAT + HOW leads to VALUE (Dorst 2011).

As Bert Bongers said it is not about solving a particular problem but understanding the problem space that leads to a solution space for big challenges that cuts across society, companies and government.

hand-written notes, water color drawings, and photo collage
Figure 5: hand drawn page 5 of journal