Design Thinking – determined to be a mystery?

With respect, it seems to me that if those who write to design thinking groups were to have been given the problem of understanding that greatest mystery of all – our capacity for language – we would still be insisting that the only thing that could be said was that it was so profound that it is almost religious. Hey, it’s so mystical, it IS religious. And don’t debase it by getting concrete and asking more granular questions, like how SPECIFICALLY is it different from one culture to another, or how can you teach it, or….

Because it turns out that while I think the act of speech is a high and holy mystery (as does at least one of he worlds ancient religious traditions – see Genesis 1, where all creation is done through speech acts, or John 1:1 where God is called "the Word"), I’m also really pleased about the existence of grammar. Not that it just “is” – that it is the invisible coherence of our conversations, and that I am slave to it if I want to be comprehended routinely – but that some people have nutted it out and made it accessible to me. That at the same time as I have mystery about being human (agreeing with Maturana that language is the defining difference of humans), I also have the useful granular categories of nouns and verbs, of sentences and clauses, of adjectives and full stops….

I’d love more conversations where the DT guys can come down out of mystery into heuristic. I’m not asking for algorithm or code (Roger Martin). Just heuristic would be fine. I’d suggest it’s even a little bit congruent with design-thinking, if they stop and design-think about it….

Perhaps insisting that DT is a religious mystery is their way of protecting the boundaries of heir discipline -somewhat like science has tenaciously protected its high priesthood via the peer reviewed journal?


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