Design processes have evolved over the time and every design initiative formulates their own design processes which they have mastered in. As a design student, it’s often tough and riskier equation to compare the processes and evolve accordingly in time. Although the beauty of a creativity process seemingly lay in the evolution journey, an organized methodology helps in evaluating a journey and return back to milestones if and when needed.
It has often been experienced, spoken of and written that a design idea has to be assessed from multiple horizons so as to understand the overall impact of the idea and also predict the future scenarios the design intervention can lead to.
The linked article by Bert Brautigam beautifully compiles the holistic perspective one requires for a design to survive and evolve.
Pursuing my graduation project on systemic well being cultivation through circular economy, I was researching on the initial concepts for designing for circular economy, and compiling the various levels of upgradations that design can offer whether intervening from a product design purview or a system design one, the following process integrates all of them:
With the given direction (section 2), the design process can either begin with (A) a projected change (backed by references in terms of case studies, ethnographic researches, and experiments), (B) a problem statement (a perceived problem, locally or globally or both), or (C) an ideology (the ideology needs to become a theory first, validated and backed by facts and figures for universal understanding).
All of these, together, forms the method for solution and directs us towards proposing a concept solution or action. There are approximately 10 important questions that we need to be sure about while proposing or conceptualizing a design intervention (the questions are highlighted in the above map). These questions facilitate the following: (i) perceived social and environmental impact, (ii) offered user experiences, (iii) narrative for process awareness and empathetic relationship, (iv) evaluation of manufacturing and production-consumption cycle, (v) opportunities for future development, and (vi) cognitive evolution in the projected project timeline.
With this in mind, I was curious about how the idea originates and the holistic factors that help us in narrating the design thinking to systems thinking and move for a zoomed-out preview of the given area of intervention. This led me to the compile the following study map:
Compiling all of them, here’s a new tool to evaluate an ideation and conceptual model holistically and creating a systemic view of the developed concept. This tool is intended for self-assessment while co-creating ideas and concepts. You can use it in groups or all by yourself and have a holistic impact assessment of the ideated concept.