So as a result of our last post, we have two main patterns of thinking that can be visually modelled thus:
With that ground work laid, we proceed to explore what this helps us see. For starters, we could explore each of the features of “design thinking” that are currently being bartered about as candidates for locating its distinctiveness. Let’s start with iteration:
The iterative character of this epistemic act is immediately apparent. The moment we move to a new focus, we stand in a new field, and our focus moves out to a new area. In contrast, the analytical and inferential moves always seemingly create “novelty”, an illusion of driving forth into the unknown and being productive, while in fact simply extrapolating from or filling out the known
Attempts to name this creative move have spoken of “creative destruction” – I prefer “obsolescence”. In the same way as my children know nothing of having to master a slide rule or log tables (I had to learn both), there is a leaving behind of what constitutes relevant knowledge to the current focus
Another way of understanding this difference is the notion of “scaffolding” versus “platform”. In the case of Design thinking, each field of subsidiary awareness creates a scaffolding from which we move to the next focus – a scaffolding which falls away as we move forward. In contrast the prior scientific knowledge (in normal science) is a requisite platform for the next thinking. It’s premises continue to be necessary to the validity of the next move.