What is the design process


In the previous sections it was shown that, according to the newer view, design is a complex activity that combines or adapts several disciplines or their methods, and has the task of creating innovations.

Of course, the examples listed only show a selection of the currently existing views on the design process. They were deliberately chosen as representatives because of their objective and reference to the extended concept of design.

What makes the design process so difficult to handle is the fact that something can happen at any time within the process that forces you to repeat and re-roll steps that have already been completed (iterative processes). In my opinion, this means that the design process can be broken down into different sections, but not described in a linear fashion, but only iteratively. This can be done using various approaches within the "Design Community" occupy. All of the following approaches have the properties of the structure and the iterative aspect - sometimes more, sometimes less clearly.

In his book "Designmethods" John C. Jones generally depicts design as a process that consists of three stages:

analysis: breaking the problem into pieces
synthesis: putting the pieces together
evaluation: testing to discover the consequences of putting the new arrangement into practice

He consciously names these three steps in "Divergence", "transformation" and "Convergence" around. Jones would like to give the design process its own terms in order to set itself apart from the classic terms that are already used in architecture or civil engineering. In following these three steps, Jones refers to the common view of his colleagues Asimov and Watts. Look at you "Designing" as a circular, iterative process from the general to the particular.

(see J. C. Jones, designmethods, Chapter 5, The Design Process desintegrated, 1970, pp. 63-69)

Figure 2: A circular, tapered, iterative design process according to J. C. Jones
(own graphic)

Another model of the design process is presented by Charles L. Owen, Professor at the Institute of Design, Chicago. For him, design is one of the main strategies for competitive success.

"Design is now recognized as a major strategy for competitive success."
(Charles Owen, 1998) (61)

In this context, Owen's design is an important part ("Development through design") in the development process ("Development"). In his remarks he assumes a direct development ("Direct development") to a development by means of design and then expands this by two higher levels ("Planning" and "metaplanning").

The "planning" separates the process of concept development from the specific implementation. The expanding, upstream stage of “metaplanning” deals methodologically with “planning” and "Designing" - "planning the planning and designing process". (cf. Chi-Kang Peng, 1993) (62)

Figure 3: Design process and its development according to Owen, (IIT)
Image source: Owen, Design, Advanced Planning and Product Development, 1998, IIT

Posted in Master Thesis, 2006. Bookmark the permalink.