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Early Research, Design for Complexity:

Welcome back NextD Journal readers. This week we are resharing this graduate student focused Design Thinking Made Visible study for those who might have missed it in early rounds. You might ask: Where did the notions that typical design processes probably need to be redesigned to better suit fuzzy, complex contexts come from? This was part of the background research that went into our last Humantific book: Rethinking Design Thinking, Making Sense of the Future that Has Already Arrived.

Beginning in 2002-1015 we began sharing this fascinating Humantific research and as far as we know, there is still no other study like this one. How do students in design school and business school understand/draw process? Do they learn common language or are they all in individual process? Do they learn behaviors? Where do their processes jump off from? What assumptions are the students making? What assumptions are embedded in their processes? What are the typical cognitive preferences of design students and how do they differ from business school students?

What were the research findings in 2002-2015 and would they differ today when it is more recognized that our organizations, communities and the planet face significant complexity?

Participating Schools:

Domus Academy / Italy

Aarhus School of Architecture / Denmark

National Institute of Design / India

University of Kassel / Germany

Regents Business School / United Kingdom

See 10 Key Findings / Screens 119-129

See other Findings here beginning on screen 119.

We would be happy to engage with graduate design schools who would like to participate in a 2024 update to this study. Feel free to write to us if you would like your graduate school or program to participate.

If you found this study useful to your own Design for Complexity R&D work feel free to let us know.


Related Previously Published:

Humantific: Rethinking Design Thinking: What is Cross-Over?

Humantific: Rethinking Design Thinking: 25 Change Avenues:


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