Kees Dorst trained as an industrial design engineer at Delft University of Technology. He has worked as a product designer for various design firms and, as a researcher, he has studied the ways in which designers work. He has published numerous articles and four books – most recently Design Expertise (2009), with Bryan Lawson.
Kees is passionate about designing and understanding the workings of design. His research focuses on creating new understandings in the area between design, philosophy and the business sciences. Currently he is writing a book about the application of design practices beyond the confines of the traditional design disciplines.
Design Studies (UG & PG)
Design research (UG & PG)
The enjoyable essays in this book provide a panoramic view of design.
This handbook is for public sector innovators, designers and anybody who is ready to take on the challenge of designing the future of our society. The unique approach that is presented here powers you to create solutions to problems that are stuck, sticky or have always been considered 'too hard'. You will see that these problems can be tackled using thoughtful and sophisticated practices that have been developed by expert designers, transforming problems into possibilities, and organisations into networks of committed stakeholders. This is demonstrated in 21 real-life projects that span many sectors of society. The key lessons from these projects are supported by 19 hands-on methods that help you deign for the common good.
Create New Thinking by Design Kees Dorst. prevalent measure of 'success' that
is used in marketing to select 'best practices' to study and emulate does not
correspond with what managers in the field consider 'successful' projects.
'Design Expertise' explores what it takes to become an expert designer.It examines the perception of expertise in design and asks what knowledge, skills, attributes and experiences are necessary in order to design well. Lawson and Dorst develop a new model of design expertise and show how design expertise can be developed. . An original contribution to theory in architecture and design from two leading scholars and practitioners in the field. . Short, accessible case studies and quotes of well known designers and architects provide real-life stories on the nature and development of design expertise
Dorst, K 1997, Describing Design - A Comparison of Paradigms, Delft University Press, Delft, The Netherlands.
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. Many organisations realise that becoming more human-centred is key to dealing with today's innovation challenges. Human-centred design (HCD) has potential to contribute to this goal. However, its current impact on strategic innovation is limited. In this paper we describe the evolution of HCD methods to date, and the challenges and opportunities of applying HCD in strategic innovation. We show that these challenges could be addressed by augmenting HCD with methods from the field of design innovation. To do this, we propose the NADI-model that links these two worlds by considering the different layers of practices and knowledge they contain, and show how the deepest level of this model can bridge human-centred design and strategic innovation.
Kokotovich, V & Dorst, K 2016, 'The Art of 'Stepping Back': Studying levels of abstraction in a diverse design team', Design Studies, vol. 46, pp. 79-94.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
A review of the literature on the design thinking processes of expert designers reveals that when given a design brief, expert designers often 'Step Back' from that brief. That is, they analyse the brief/problem from a broad context or frame of reference. In his research of expert designers, Cross (2003) indicates that experts tend to take a broad 'systems approach' to the problem. Moreover, experts often go beyond mere interpretation and reframe the brief [see: Kokotovich (2008); Mathias (1993); Lloyd & Scott (1994); Ho (2001); Paton (2011)]. In order to 'Step Back' from the brief, expert designers often draw/reflect upon their personal experiential knowledge and observations. Indeed they use their previous experiences to develop and critically analyse abstract concepts which may inform both a reconceptualisation (reframing) of the brief/problem as given, and inform the creation of a final solution. In this paper we seek to investigate IF and HOW a mixed group of undergraduate and Post-graduate students from diverse backgrounds [some of which were from creative professions] demonstrate the capacity to use their previous experiences to collectively mimic the levels of abstraction and the framing capabilities of expert designers.
Dorst, K 2015, 'Linkography: Unfolding the Design Process by Gabriela Goldschmidt (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2014), ISBN 9780262027199, 208 pages, illustrated, hardcover ($35.00).', Design Issues, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 110-110.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Knoop, WG & Dorst, K 2013, 'Design Thinking - Was kann der Unternehmer vom Designer Lernen?', Blickwinkel, vol. -, no. 03, pp. 8-10.
Le Masson, P, Dorst, K & Subrahmanian, E 2013, 'Design theory: history, state of the art and advancements', Research In Engineering Design, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 97-103.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This special issue of Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal comprises select papers presented at the First International Design+Crime Conference and Exhibition held at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia in December 2012. Design+Crime provided a transdisciplinary forum for discussion on how the disciplines of design and criminology are becoming interlinked in crime prevention practice and academia. Academics and practitioners from design, urban planning, architecture, as well as criminology, law enforcement, social geography and policy development shared in this unique discussion and showcased a growing collection of innovative approaches to crime prevention.
In the last few years, 'Design Thinking' has gained popularity - it is now seen as an exciting new paradigm for dealing with problems in sectors as far a field as IT, Business, Education and Medicine. This potential success challenges the design research
The ability to reframe a problematic situation in new and interesting ways is widely seen as one of the key characteristics of design thinking. In this paper we study how experienced designers have professionalised the crucial art of frame communication
Thomas Kuhn described scientific progress as a process of leaps and bounds. Long periods of `normal science, in which a research community works within a well-established and fruitful paradigm, end when there is a build-up of anomalies: phenomena that cannot be explained within the conventional wisdom. Then the research community enters into a state of `revolution, in which a new paradigm emerges that is superior in explaining these anomalies. In this paper, I will argue that the design research community, which has flourished so much in the last 40 years, shows signs of being in a period now that is prior to such a `revolution. Such periods are characterised by a mounting number of anomalies, and by the response from those working within the `normal science paradigm to ignore them, belittle them, or push them away as irrelevant because they do not fit in `the way we see things. Their normal way of working is under threat, and this makes them acutely uncomfortable. The concepts that are under fire in this revolution-waiting-to-happen are the core concepts of our field. I think we should reconsider the very nature of the object of our studies (what do we consider to be `design?), the character of the tools and methods we aim to create, and the way we create them.
Smulders, F, Lousberg, L & Dorst, K 2008, 'Towards different communications in collaborative design', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 352-367.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Purpose -This paper aims to create a social constructivist perspective on collaborative architecture that is complementary to the rational-analytic perspective as embodied in the hard project management tools. Design/methodology/approach Two theoretical perspectives from the field of design methodology, design as co-evolution, and design as a social process, form the base for an integrated perspective of collaboration. This integrated perspective describes in detail the social process among multi functional actors involved in co-creational processes. A third theoretical framework discusses the process of maturing conflicts and conflict prevention using the integrated perspective on collaboration. Data from two empirical studies are used to illustrate both perspectives. The first study used a protocol study approach and the second a grounded approach. Findings This paper shows the similarities in design methodology and conflict literature by introducing a social constructivist perspective on collaborative architecture. Especially, the notion of cognitive errors as root cause of conflictuous situations becomes apparent. The paper describes in detail the role of perceptual differences that can make and break collaborative architecture.
While architects and builders in practice have embraced ever more visually based ways of working, the research into these new visual practices has lagged behind. The recent special issue on Visual Practices: Images of Knowledge Work (2007) provided impor
Dorst, K 2007, 'The Designer of the Future', Items, vol. Sept/Oct.
Vermaas, P & Dorst, K 2007, 'On the conceptual framework of John Gero's FBS-model and the prescriptive aims of design methodology', Design Studies, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 133-157.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In this paper we consider the Function-Behaviour-Structure model of designing in the version as developed by John Gero and collaborators. We identify two problems the absence of a stable definition of function, and the model's double aim of describing ac
In this paper we explore an analogy between design and ethics, first drawn by Whitbeck. We investigate her claim that such an analogy can help to understand moral problems and aid its in dealing with them by suggesting strategies for addressing moral pro
Reymen, IMMJ, Hammer, DK, Kroes, PA, van Aken, JE, Dorst, CH, Bax, MFT & Basten, T 2006, 'A domain-independent descriptive design model and its application to structured reflection on design processes', RESEARCH IN ENGINEERING DESIGN, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 147-173.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dorst, K 2005, 'Dutch Design as a Mirage', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Dec/Jan.
Dorst, K 2005, 'Flying Lightness', Items, vol. june/july, no. 3, pp. 98-98.
Dorst, K 2005, 'The Average Design School', BNO Vormberichten, vol. February.
Dorst, K & Vermaas, P 2005, 'John Gero's Function-Behaviour-Structure Model of Designing: A Critical Analysis.', Research In Engineering Design, vol. 16, no. 1-2, pp. 17-26.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Over the last 12 years, the design research group at the Key Centre for Computing at the University of Sydney has been developing an extensive model of designing, looking at designing as a process in which the concepts of function, behaviour and structure of artefacts play a central role. In this paper, we critically analyse this model of designing, focussing on its internal clarity and external empirical validation. We review the model and present the definitions of the key concepts function, behaviour and structure. In doing so we show that one can distinguish at least two different versions of the model. Finally, we raise fundamental questions about the precise location of the transition between structural and intentional descriptions of artefacts in these versions, and about the empirical status of the model as a whole.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Behaviour design in three days', Items, vol. June, no. 2, pp. 40-41.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Craving for the future', Craving for the future, vol. Jul/Aug, no. 3, pp. 98-98.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Design History without the Passion', Design history without the passion, vol. June, no. 2, pp. 98-98.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Designers as Therapists', BNO Vormberichten, vol. March.
Dorst, K 2004, 'From Home Market to Design Culture', BNO Vormberichten, vol. February.
Dorst, K 2004, 'IDEO Method Cards', Items, vol. Mar/Apr, no. 1, pp. 40-43.
Dorst, K 2004, 'In Praise of Shadows', Items, vol. Sept/Oct, no. 4, pp. 100-100.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Intense, transparet & captivating', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Items', Nuits Blanches, vol. Sept/Oct, no. 4, pp. 17-17.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Pitches from Hell', BNO Vormberichten, vol. September.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Technology looking for form', Items, vol. Mar/Apr, no. 1, pp. 104-104.
Dorst, K 2004, 'The Art of Getting Your Way', BNO Vormberichten, vol. November.
Dorst, K 2004, 'The Declining Value of a Designer', BNO Vormberichten, vol. April.
Dorst, K 2004, 'The Designer and the Pyramid', BNO Vormberichten, vol. October.
Dorst, K 2004, 'The Evolution of the Designer', BNO Vormberichten, vol. June.
Dorst, K 2004, 'The Problem of Design Problems - Problem Solving and Design Expertise', Journal of Design Research, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1-13.
Dorst, K 2004, 'The Schism between Education and Practice', BNO Vormberichten, vol. May.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Again in Search of Relevance', BNO Vormberichten, vol. October.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Change or Die', BNO Vormberichten, vol. November.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Conceptual Thinking', Items, vol. Nov, no. 5, pp. 101-101.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Design Rats (Designratten)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. September.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Family Resemblance (Familietrekjes)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. June.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Fundamentally oriented towards practice (Fundamenteel praktijkgericht)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Materials and Design', Items, vol. March.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Metaphors for Design (Metaforen voor ontwerpen)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. March.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Platypus (De ontwerper als vogelbekdier)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. April.
Dorst, K 2003, 'The Bachelor Master Revolution', Items, vol. Nov.
Dorst, K 2003, 'The Cult of the Concept', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Dec/Jan04.
Dorst, K 2003, 'The Current Revolution (De revolutie van nu)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Dec/Jan.
Dorst, K 2003, 'The Designing State (De ontwerpende overheid)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. February.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Thinking about Design (Denken over ontwerpen)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. May.
Dorst, K, Smulders, F, Gubi, E & Boer, H 2003, 'Configuations of NPD - Production interfaces and interface integration mechanisms', Creativity and Innovation Management, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 62-73.
Dorst, K 2002, '2001 Building for Space Travel', Items, vol. Jul/Aug, no. 3, pp. 95-95.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Cloaked Happenings', Items, vol. Nov/Dec.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Design at the Highest Level (Ontwerpen op niveau)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. September.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Design at the University', Items, vol. Sept/Oct.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Down the Deep End (In het diepe)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Jan/Feb.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Dream Projects', Items, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Fixation (Fixatie)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. May.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Hester van Eeghen. The Bag is the Person', Items, vol. Mar/Apr, no. 2, pp. 64-71.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Kathalys - Vision on Sustainable Product Innovation', Items, vol. Mar/Apr.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Mediated Design and Mediocre Diocre Design (Middel matig ontwerpen)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2002, 'New Kids on the Block', Items, vol. Nov/Dec, no. 2, pp. 72-73.
Dorst, K 2002, 'New! Design Managers! (Nieuw! Design Managers!)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. June.
Dorst, K 2002, 'O2: Design for a new world', Items, vol. Jul/Aug, no. 4, pp. 28-29.
Dorst, K 2002, 'ORGACOM. Art as a Reflection of Company Culture', Items, vol. January.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Product Magic', Items, vol. Sept/Oct, no. 3, pp. 54-57.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Survival of the Fittest', BNO Vormberichten, vol. November.
Dorst, K 2002, 'Too Quiet (Te rustig)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. April.
Dorst, K 2002, 'What is the Use of Designers (Wat heb je eigenlijk aan ontwerers?)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. March.
In this paper, we present an action-theoretical account of use and design. Central to this account is the notion of a user plan, which leads us to distinguish a cycle of plan design from one of artefact design. We comment on the nature and scope of our account from the perspective of design methodology in general, and we show that it can be employed to analyse the shortcomings of one design method in particular, namely quality function deployment. Finally, we examine some consequences for a philosophy of artefacts and their functions.
Dorst, K 2001, '72 dpi', Items, vol. April.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Colour/Process Colour Manual Items', Items, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Design is Thinking Hard (Ontwerpen is hard nadenken)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Design with a big D (Ontwerpen met een grote O)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. December.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Designers Only Want One Thing (Ontwerpers willen maar 1 ding)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. March.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Flirt', Items, vol. February.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Funlab - The experience economy is coming your way', Items, vol. April.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Handbuch Material Technologie', Items, vol. February.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Ideology and style (Ideologie en stijl)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. November.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Industrial Design Delft: Towards a Broad Curriculum for Specialists', Items, vol. Nov/Dec.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Life Long Learning', BNO Vormberichten, vol. June.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Little White Lies (De dleine leugen)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. October.
Dorst, K 2001, 'PARK Strategic Design', Items, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Polder Design (Polderontwerpen)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. Jan/Feb.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Ron Arad', Items, vol. Jul/Aug.
Dorst, K 2001, 'Sears, Roebuck & Company', Items, vol. Sept/Oct.
Dorst, K 2001, 'The Story Behind the Design (Het verhaal achter het ontwerp)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. May.
Dorst, K 2001, 'The Total Beauty of Sustainable Products', Items, vol. Sept/Oct.
Dorst, K 2001, 'The troubled existence of the Designer (Het onzekere bestaan van de ontwerper)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. April.
Dorst, K 2001, 'YD+1', Items, vol. Jul/Aug.
Empirical data on design processes were obtained from a set of protocol studies of nine experienced industrial designers, whose designs were evaluated on overall quality and on a variety of aspects including creativity. From the protocol data we identify aspects of creativity in design related to the formulation of the design problem and to the concept of originality. We also apply our observations to a model of creative design as the co-evolution of problem/solution spaces, and confirm the general validity of the model. We propose refinements to the co-evolution model, and suggest relevant new concepts of default and surprise problem/solution spaces.
Dorst, K 2000, 'Talent is Taboo (Taboe op Talent)', BNO Vormberichten, vol. November.
Dorst, K & Valkenburg, A 1998, 'The reflective practice of design teams', Design Studies, vol. 19, no. 3.
Dorst, K 1995, 'Analysing Design Activity: New directions in protocol analysis', Design Studies, vol. 16, no. 2.
Dorst, K & Dijkhuis, J 1995, 'Comparing paradigms for describing design activity', Design Studies, vol. 16, no. 2.
Dorst, K, Christiaans, H & Cross, N 1994, 'Design Expertise Amongst Student Designers', Journal of Art and Design Education, vol. 13.
Lulham, RA, Camacho Duarte, OL, Dorst, K & Kaldor, LJ 2012, 'Designing a Counterterrorism Trash Bin' in Ekblom, P (ed), Design Against Crime: Crime Proofing Everyday Products, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc, Boulder and London, pp. 131-146.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this chapter, we present a case study and analysis of the process of designing and developing a counterterrorism trash bin (CT bin) led by the Designing Out Crime Research Centre (DOC) at the University of Technology, Sydney.
These days, same designers are successfullywarking on verycomplex problems that only a couple of years ago seemed far outside of their range and beyond their capabilities. They have discovered a hidden strength in design that makes it especially suited for the networked, dynamic problems our societies face today. Butwhat is the special "design intelligence" that these designers bring to bear upon those issues? And how would design in general have to change to really live up to these new challenges?
Dorst, K & van Overveld, K 2009, 'Typologies of Design Practice' in Anthonie Meijers (ed), Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Science, Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 455-487.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Design is a. human activity in which we create plans for the creation of artifacts that aim to have value for a prospective user of the artifact, to assist the user in his/her effort to attain certain goals. These goals call be purely functional, or they can encompass a broad array of cultural and social aims. More often than not, these three kinds of goals go together within one problem situation and they result in contradictory requirements to the design. The creative exploration and negotiation of this broad terrain is the expertise of the designer [Cross, 1990; 2006J. The desigu project takes place within a volatile real-world context, where the design situation may change any moment (technological advances, policy changes within the organisation, changes in the market) and system borders are hard to distinguish.
Reymen, I, Dorst, K & Smulders, F 2009, 'Co-Evolution in Design Practice' in McDonnell, J & Lloyd, P (eds), About: Designing - Analysing Design Meetings, CRC Press, Leiden, the Netherlands, pp. 67-82.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The concept of co-evolution is considered a key characteristic of designing. Several authors have described design thinking processes as the coevolution of design problem and design solution. The theoretical grounding of co-evolution is, however, still in an early stage. In this chapter, we develop the concept by analysing realworld designmeetings of an architect and a client.Thirteen co-evolution episodes are identified in the two architectural meetings and we focus in detail on the utterances of two co-evolutionepisodes. We find that modelling co-evolution in terms of problem and solution is difficult for this data, and we develop a revised model of how co-evolution in a multi-actor setting mightwork. Conversation in an area in between problem and solution, for example about ' use' , would seem to moreaccurately describe how designer and client reach agreement.
Dorst, K 2007, 'But, is it art?' in Coles, A (ed), Design and Art, Whitechapel Ventures Limited, London, UK, pp. 10-18.
Dorst, K 2007, 'The Problem of the Design Problem' in Cross, NG & Edmonds, E (eds), Expertise in Design - Design Thinking Research Symposium 6, Creativity and Cognition Studios Press, Sydney.
Dorst, K & Cross, N 2007, 'Co-evolution of Problem and Solution Spaces in Creative Design' in Gero, J & Maher, ML (eds), Computational Models of Creative Design, Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney, Sydney.
Dorst, K & Hendriks, D 2007, 'The role of the design context in practice and in design methodology.' in Lloyd, P & Christiaans, HHCM (eds), Designing in Context, Delft University Presss, Delft, pp. 345-360.
Dorst, K & Roozenburg, N 1998, 'Describing design as a reflective practice: observations on Schon's theory of practice.' in Frankeenberger, E, Badke-Schaub, P & Birkhofer, H (eds), Designers: The key to successful product development., Springer, London, pp. 0-0.
Dorst, K 1995, 'The Design Methodology Group at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering' in Design Research in the Netherlands, Faculteit Bouwkunde, Eindhoven.
Dorst, CH 2016, 'Design practice and design research: finally together?', Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking, Design Research Society International Conference, Design Research Society, Brighton, pp. 2669-2678.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Early design research was driven by the ambition to create a coherent Science of Design – an ambition that was later abandoned in favour of a more pluralist approach. But despite great progress in the last 50 years, Design Research can still be criticised for being (1) too disconnected from design practice, (2) internally scattered and confused (3) not achieving the impact that was hoped for. In this paper we will discuss possible solutions to these conundrums by learning from three professional and academic fields: Marketing, Art Theory and Management, respectively. Based on these three discussions an attempt will be made to create an integrated answer by considering how design research and practice might come together in the creation of a new field, 'Academic Design'.
Kokotovich, V & Dorst, C 2016, 'Blending Hard and Soft Design via Thematic Analysis', Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, Design Research Society International Conference, Design Research Society, Brighton, UK, pp. 2495-2506.
As the world becomes increasingly complex, from both a technological perspective and a sociocultural perspective, we need to adapt our problem solving and design capacity to match these changes. This paper will compare aspects of TRIZ and the emergent Frame creation methodology as examples of design-based problem solving methodologies for resolving technical and sociocultural problems. We argue that while on the surface TRIZ and Frame Creation merely appear to diverge, a close analysis reveals noteworthy similarities, such as the drawing upon core attributes of the problem situation and building up a solution frame from first principles. We then introduce the latent thematic analysis methodology as a common ground that can lead to a possible blending of the two.
Koskinen, IK & Dorst, CH 2015, 'Academic Design', Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED15), International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, Design Society, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, pp. 11-227-11-234.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper proposes to reshape the discussion design schools about the relationship of design practice to research. Many universities now have very successful design departments that educate high-level design practitioners. But the rapid growth of these departments, popular as they are with students, has meant that there has been very little time to step back and reflect on the nature and development of academic design in its new environment. Consequently, the formation of an academic design practice that can take its rightful place among other academic fields has been slow. In this paper we will propose a model of academic design and critically asses its qualities, as well as the challenges that lie ahead for this new species of academic design practitioner. The model builds on recent work dealing with forms of abduction in design, and on a few papers that describe the development of research programs at Aalto University.
Pee, SH, Dorst, C & van der Bijl-Brouwer, M 2015, 'Understanding Problem Framing through research into Metaphors', IASDR 2015: Interplay Proceedings, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IADSR, Brisbane, pp. 1656-1671.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In problem framing, designers produce frames, or a new perspective on a situation, that help
to create a novel standpoint from which a problem situation may be tackled. Recently, there
is an increase in the popularity of design as a problem solving and innovation approach
outside of the traditional design field. This leads to new demands for explicit frame creation
instructions and tools. However, most researchers studied the use of frames and processes
around problem frames but not where frames come from. So, there is a need for a better
understanding of problem framing. In this paper we propose the study of metaphor as a way
to improve our understanding of problem framing. This approach opens up the rich
knowledge base of metaphor research to help illuminate the 'mysterious' problem framing
process. Base on this initial study of selected metaphor theories; we have developed a
typology of metaphors that illuminates how metaphorical problem frames are created.
Thurgood, C, Dorst, C, Bucolo, S, van der Bijl-Brouwer, M & Vermaas, P 2015, 'Design innovation for societal and business change.', Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15), International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Milan, Italy, pp. 61-70.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
We present two approaches for addressing complex societal and business problems: frame creation and design led innovation. Both methods combine a broad systems approach to problem solving together with the reframing of problems based on uncovering deep underlying human values and needs. While the practical usefulness and viability of our methods has been established through a series of projects, design methods need evaluative criteria to enable a more formal discussion and assessment of projects. This is particularly important for enabling comparisons across studies, and/or when attempting to communicate the value of design to non-design audience. For this purpose, we suggest articulating the steps of design methods using S.M.A.R.T. criteria from the management literature. We describe the aims, means, and evaluative criteria of each step of our methods, which can be likened to the specific (S) and measurable (M) indices of S.M.A.R.T. Thus, S.M.AR.T. descriptions enable management of projects by means of their own design methods and contribute to establishing sound design innovation methodologies that can eventually be scaled up for large research programs and educational purposes.
Vermaas, P, Dorst, C & Thurgood, C 2015, 'Framing in design: A formal analysis and failure modes.', Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED15), International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Milan, Italy, pp. 133-142.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This contribution presents a formal description of the design practice of framing and identifies two general modes in which framing can lead to failure in design projects. The first is called the goal reformulation failure mode and occurs when designers reformulate the goal of the client in a design task and give design solutions that solve the reformulated goal but not the original goal. The second is called the frame failure mode and occurs when designers propose a frame for the design task that cannot be accepted by the client. The analysis of framing and its failure modes is aimed at better understanding this design practice and provides a first step towards arriving at criteria that successful applications of framing should meet. The description and the failure modes are illustrated by critically considering an initially successful case of framing, namely the redesign of the Kings Cross entertainment district in Sydney.
Dorst, K & Kokotovich, V 2015, 'Comparing Frame Creation and TRIZ: from model to methodology', IASDR2015 INTERPLAY Proceedings, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2015, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 598-608.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this paper we discuss a core quality of expert design practice, the ability to create new approaches to problems. If design can be seen as connecting Humanity to Technology, then the Frame Creation model we will introduce here focuses on the Human side of the problem, while an Engineering Design methodology like Theory of Inventive Problem Solving [TRIZ] does the same for the technical side of the equation. We will first illustrate such a complex Frame Creation project, using an example to establish an informal proof-of-concept. This raises the question how may we move from such a proof-of-concept to critically develop and validate a complete methodology. To answer this question we will draw parallels between the evolution of the well-developed and accepted TRIZ in Engineering Design, and the continuing evolutionary trajectory of 'Frame Creation'.
Dorst, K, Smulders, F & vermaas, P 2014, 'Applying Design Thinking Elsewhere: Organizational context matters', Proceedings of the 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, Academic Design Management Conference, Design Management Institute, London, UK, pp. 2797-2817.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this contribution design thinking is taken as a transfer of design methods from product development to other domains. It is argued that the success of this transfer depends on the organisational context offered to design thinking in these other domains. We describe the application of design methods in product development and in two new domains by what we have called the IDER model, where D refers to design and I, E and R to the organisational context. Then we show that characteristics of the contexts in the new domains may determine the success of applying design thinking in these domains. Finally we focus on the transitions among design and the other contextual elements as another source that can 'make or break' the success of applying design thinking. We support our arguments with two cases of design thinking: social design and business-innovation design.
Van Der Bijl Brouwer, M & Dorst, K 2014, 'How deep is deep? A four-layer model of insights into human needs for design innovation', Proceedings of the Colors of Care: 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Design and Emotion, Ediciones Uniandes, Bogota, Colombia, pp. 280-287.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
It is generally acknowledged that knowledge about the people that are affected by a design proposal, supports successful design and innovation processes. In this paper we explore the question: what needs to be known about involved people to be able to innovate through design? Based on a literature analysis of human-centred design we propose a model with four levels of human insights: 1) the desired solutions; 2) the desired scenarios; 3) which goal drives this need; and 4) which human value or theme underlies these goals. We argue that radical innovation-which involves a reframe of the problem-can be supported by an investigation of the deepest level of this human insights framework: the thematic level. We show how themes are explored through a hermeneutic phenomenological exercise. This approach is illustrated with a design case in the context of social housing.
Dorst, K 2013, 'Shaping the design research revolution', DS75-02: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design, Design for Harmonies, Vol.2: Design Theory and Research Methodology, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Seoul, Korea, pp. 173-182.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In 2008 the author published a paper that critiqued the state of design research. It contained an anatomy of design research, analysed its assumptions and considered the anomalies that were emerging at the time, making a case for revolutionizing the field, and mapped out two directions for further development. Over the last 5 years, that paper has sparked keen interest and it has been quoted extensively. In this paper we will pick up the thread and report on the development of a research centre that embodies some of the changes proposed in the paper, shaping a specific version the design research revolution. This paper is built up as follows: first, the arguments of the original paper will be retraced briefly. Then the question that drives the exploration of the current paper will be elaborated and the central case study will be introduced, by describing the methodological research program and the applied research centre that serves as its platform. We will end with an informal evaluation, and position the conclusions within the broader discussion on the role of academic research in today's society.
Walden, RJ & Dorst, K 2013, 'The integration of design parameters and the establishment of constraint and priority for innovation', Proceedings - DesignEd Asia Conference 2013: Delimitation - Creating with Constraints, DesignEd Asia Conference, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, pp. 1-9.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper presents a new model for setting constraints and priority for contextualising innovation and iteration events during the course of new design development. It achieves this by establishing and dynamically integrating three parameter fields deemed critical to project success, setting the scope of innovation opportunity more broadly yet more strategically to enable productive re-framing of open-ended design tasks. It is proposed that contemporary design practice requires a means of establishing criteria and enabling short feedback loops for high quality innovations to result. The integrated parameter model presented in this paper seeks to support these objectives by rationalising the context of the innovation developed, determining the impact of pursuit of that innovation on associated parameters and providing a focus for connecting with various support for productive and timely feedback on ideas.
Dorst, K & Hansen, C 2011, 'Modeling paradoxes in novice and expert design', Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design : Impacting society through engineering design, ICED 11 - 18th International Conference on Engineering Design - Impacting Society Through Engineering Design, Design society, Copenhagen, pp. 142-150.
In their ICED09 paper 'Problem formulation as a discursive activity', the authors have used an extensive educational case study to explore a framework for describing design as a discursive activity, centered around the paradoxical nature of the problem situation. The 'working definition' for paradox that was used as the basis of that paper will now be re-examined, extended and detailed in the light of studies on expert designers. In particular, paradoxes will now be situated as an opposition between frames or within frames. Expert designers can be seen to build up a rich picture of the frames at play in a design situation, and extract themes that can lead to reformulation of the problem as well as the creation of innovative solutions. This behaviour is compared to the ways of working of novice designers (students) in the original case study.
Dorst, K & Tietz, CR 2011, 'Design Thinking and Analysis: A case study in design for social wellbeing', ICORD 11: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Research into Design Engineering, Bangalore, India, 10.-12.01.2011, International Conference on Research into Design, Research Publishing, India Institute of Science, Bangalore, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In the last few years, 'Design Thinking' has gained popularity - it is now seen as an exciting new paradigm for dealing with problems in sectors as a far afield as IT, Business, Education and Medicine. Most fields that are eager to adopt design thinking approaches seem to naturally focus their interest on the creative and generative elements of the design professions - after all, this is what design is most commonly known for. In this paper we will seek to enrich this picture by using a case study in design for social wellbeing to describe and discuss the original approach to analysis that is also part and parcel of the designing disciplines.
Dorst, K & Tomkin, DF 2011, 'Themes as bridges between problem and solution', Proceedings of IASDR2011, 4th World Conference on Design Research, IASDR2011, The International Association of Societies of Design Research, Delft, The Netherlands.
The ability to reframe is widely seen as a key design skill, and central to the claim that design thinking can contribute to radical innovation. Yet there are few studies that seek to describe and understand this process in detail. In this paper we will use four case studies of complex design projects to study the art of frame creation. We find that designers use deliberate strategies to explore the wider problem area, and create new frames based on those explorations. The notion of âthemeâ is adopted from hermeneutic phenomenology to describe and understand the subtle ways in which designers navigate the area between problem and solution space during framing.
Harkema, C, Luyk, I, Dorst, K & Brombacher, A 2011, 'Can existing usability techniques prevent tomorrow's usability problems?', Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11), Vol. 10, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Product usability is a product quality that ensures efficient and effective products which satisfy users. In spite of the many usability techniques that are available many users still experience usability problems when using electronic products. In this paper we present two studies that explore the (mis)match between the types of uncertainty addressed by existing usability techniques and the types of uncertainty in the product development process that can eventually result in usability problems. To explore this (mis)match, two studies are presented. The first study is to discover which usability techniques are used in practice to retrieve usability information to address the different types of uncertainty. The second study is a case study in product development practice which explores the types of uncertainty that causes the usability problems of a specific product. The overall contribution of this paper is that it offers greater insight into how usability techniques (do not) address uncertainty in the product development process.
Luyk, I & Dorst, K 2011, 'Design perspectives on social safety', Proceedings of IASDR2011, 4th World Conference on Design Research, IASDR2011, TU Delft, Delft, the Netherlands.
Our current society is confronted with a variety of safety related issues in the public domain that affect personal and/or public well-being. Most of these social safety problems have existed for ages. Relatively new in this field is the designer. Only recently, designers with their unique design approach are involved in many social safety related projects. But what exactly is this design perspective on social safety problems? What makes the approach of these designers different from the earlier approaches of their colleague criminologists and urban planners? This paper explores these questions based on three recent case studies in the area of social safety.
Sadokierski, ZA & Dorst, K 2011, 'Using design thinking an an analytical research tool', Doctoral Education in Design Conference: Pre-Conference Proceedings, Doctoral Education in Design Conference, DEDC, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The extended abstract of a joint research paper between Professor Kees Dorst and myself, discussing how I used design thinking in my doctoral research: The boundaries of Design scholarship are still sketchy, but this area is increasingly recognised as a distinct and important discipline. To qualify as an academic discipline, the differences between what constitutes design practice and design research need to be clarified. We need to be clear that not all design practice is design research, even though much design practice involves various types of research. Terms such as 'research for design', 'research by design', 'research through design' and 'practice as research' attempt to describe different activities that may make up the field of design research. These terms have proved to be deeply problematic in their claim to being scholarly research. We have found that there is a different way in which practice and research can be linked, that largely bypasses these debated terms and creates great opportunities for professional practice and design scholarship to progress and learn from one another. In this approach, elements of design practice are used within an analytical rather than a productive setting. This paper presents an approach to design research that considers how 'distinct knowledge' from design practice can inform and expand design scholarship. It proposes metaphors of 'the good eye' and 'the curious eye' to help describe the difference between design practice and design research. Zoe Sadokierski's 2010 doctoral thesis - 'Visual Writing: A critique of graphic devices in hybrid novels' - shows how language and analytical tools from design practice can be successfully adapted for scholarly research, turning a 'good eye' into a 'curious eye'.
Dorst, K 2010, 'Design Thinking at large', ConnectED: International Conference on Design at Sydney, ConnectED: International Conference on Design Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, p. np.
In the last few years, the notion of design thinking has gained popularity outside the core design professions -it is a buzzword in the business world, and we can find design thinking mentioned as an exciting new paradigm for dealing with problems in sectors as a far afield as education, IT and medicine. This success builds on the great strengths that design thinking can bring to those professions, e.g. through framing, integration, solution focus and the ability to create a context for forethought. But âDesign Thinking' can take many forms and impact an organization in many different ways. In this presentation a framework is proposed that could serve as the backbone of a new, much more detailed articulation of design thinking for innovation.
Dorst, K 2010, 'The Nature of Design Thinking', DTRS8 Interpreting Design Thinking: Design Thinking Research Symposium Proceedings, Design Thinking Research Symposium, DAB Documents, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology, Sydney, pp. 131-139.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In the last few years, 'Design Thinking' has gained popularity - it is now seen as an exciting new paradigm for dealing with problems in sectors as a far afield as IT, Business, Education and Medicine. This potential success challenges the design research community to provide clear and unambiguous answers to two key questions: 'What is the nature of design think- ing?' and 'What could it bring to other professions?'. In this paper we sketch a provisional answer to these questions by first considering the reasoning pattern behind design thinking, and then enriching this picture by linking in key concepts from models of design activity and design thinking that have emerged over the last twenty years of design research.
Paton, RJ & Dorst, K 2010, 'Briefing and Reframing', DTRS8 Interpreting Design Thinking: Procedings of the 8th Design Thinking Research Symposium, Design Thinking Research Symposium, DAB documents, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology, Sydney, pp. 317-335.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The ability to reframe a problematic situation in new and interesting ways is widely seen as one of the key characteristics of design thinking, and as one that would lend itself to application beyond the traditional design professions. In this paper we study how experienced designers have professionalised the crucial art of frame communication and new frame adoption with their clients. During briefing, professional designers elicit a client's frame, re- frame it to be more workable and desirable, and reflect it back. The iterative exchange at the start of a project is loaded with framing and reframing episodes. In this study fifteen highly experienced visual communications designers were interviewed and asked about briefing activities for what they deemed to be 'typical' and 'innovative' projects. This yielded rich descriptions of strategies that these professional designers used to enable reframing of the situation with non-designers, insights into possible difficulties and patterns of briefing practices. The paper concludes with an overview of activities and strategies that help with framing and reframing, as well as modes of communication that assist with sharing frames.
Dorst, K, Stewart, SC, Staudinger, K, Paton, RJ & Dong, A 2010, 'Proceedings of the 8th Design Thinking Research Symposium (DTRS8)', Interpreting Design Thinking, Design Thinking Research Symposium 8, DAB documents, University of Technology, Sydney, pp. 1-426.
Dorst, K 2009, 'Layers of Design: Understanding Design Practice', International Association of Societies of Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, Coex, Seoul, Korea, pp. 157-166.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Most thinking about design, and indeed most research into design, has focussed on what happens within design projects. Yet when we study design and architectural firms/departments more carefully, we observe several layers of design activity not just activities within projects, but also design activities that work across projects. Lead designers create the intellectual (and physical) context in which design takes place and can prosper, the Practice. In this exploratory paper we will sketch the nature of this `Design Practice. This exploration leads to a research agenda, and to some first thoughts on how this level of design activities could be better addressed in design education.
Masse, SJ & Dorst, K 2007, 'Exploring the development process of grassroots social entrepreneurship', International Social Entrepreneurship Research Conference 3, ISERC, Center for Corporate Values and Responsibility (CVR), Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 1-24.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This study explores the development process of seven cases of grassroots social entrepreneurship that contain the establishment of multi-sector partnerships. The paper suggests three phases in the development process and three stages of collaboration. It connects the existing body of literature on processes for social innovation and social entrepreneurship to the results of the case study. To improve the process of development of grassroots social enterprises it proposes: 1. a more systematic approach in the idea generation phase including an exploration of social and institutional barriers and a detailed elaboration of the initiator's idea, 2. the establishment of platforms to provide access to the relevant social network, 3. application of tools and methods for collaborative development in the first two phases of the process. Processes, methods and tools from the field of product development are considered to be relevant for future research on grassroots social entrepreneurship
Smulders, F & Dorst, K 2007, 'Towards a Co-Evolution Model of the NPD-Manufacturing Interface', International Conference on Engineering Design, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, Ecole Centrale Paris, Paris, France, pp. 1-12.
The co-evolution of the design problem and design solution has been described in Design Methodology by several authors [1, 2] and it has been recognized as a valuable contribution to our view of the front end of a design process. However, this interesting insight into the early phases of a design process has always been described in the context of a single designer performing a design task not a very realistic situation in todays design practice. In this paper we will endeavour to go beyond this focus on the individual, by first considering what this co-evolution means in design teams, where 'shared understanding seems to be a key factor in the social process. Then we will take yet another step, and consider co-evolution in the context of the cross-functional interface between the departments of New Product Development (design & engineering) and Manufacturing in a company. An extensive empirical study into the practices in two leading companies (in audiovisual equipment and professional lighting equipment) will inform a better understanding of the issues around coevolution in this setting. A first description will be made, based on seeing this cross-functional process as the synchronisation of the mental models on both sides of the interface. Conclusions will be drawn for engineering design practice and education, and an agenda for further research will be presented.
Maase, S & Dorst, K 2006, 'Co-creation - a way to reach sustainable innovation?', Proceedings of the Score! workshop on sustainable consumption patterns, Score! workshop on sustainable consumption patterns, RISO/TNO, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 295-310.
Dorst, K 2005, 'Studying Design Problems', Design Research in the Netherlands, Research Design in the Netherlands, Faculteit Bouwkunde, Eindhoven.
Dorst, K, Reymen, I & Whyte, J 2005, 'Users, Designers and Dilemas of Expertise', Include 2005, Include 2005, Royal College of Art, London.
Dorst, K 2004, 'Investigating the nature and development of design expertise.', Proceeding of the FutureGround Conference, Monash University, Melbourne.
Dorst, K & Reymen, I 2004, 'Levels of expertise in design education', The changing face of design education, proceedings of the 2nd International Engineering and Product Design Education Conference, INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, Delft University Press, Delft, pp. 1-8.
Design ability and differences between novice and expert designers have been quite extensively studied in the field of design methodology. For example, design expertise got much attention in the latest Design Thinking Research Symposium held in Australia. Little attention, however, is paid to the development from novice into expert. At this moment, there is no theoretical basis for explaining and understanding the kinds of transformations the design student has to go through, and there is no theoretical basis for identifying the degree of design expertise of a designer at a certain moment. Also, little is known about how to stimulate design expertise development. We propose to study the development of expertise in designing. This paper introduces a model of the development of design expertise, based on the general skill acquisition model of Dreyfus. Characteristics and limitations of the general model relevant for its application to the field of design are discussed. We will try to match the levels of expertise as they are identified in the model with some empirical data, consisting of a set of self-evaluations of a design student. We could find some empirical basis for the model, but much more detailed empirical investigations are needed to reflect on the basic assumptions of the model. We therefore introduce a wider research programme that eventually should result in a stable description of levels of design expertise, a description of the transitions to higher levels of design expertise, and in ways to support design expertise development.
Dorst, K 2003, 'Exploring the Structure of Design Problems', International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden.
van Erp, J & Dorst, CH 2015, 'Under the Surface: Four Lines to Conclude Our Story', Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft, The Netherlands, pp. 8-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
On behalf of the CRISP Executive Board and the International Scientific Board, van Erp and Dorst introduce the four overarching themes and lessons learnt from CRISP Magazine on PSS design.
Dorst, K 2013, 'Academic design', Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Eindhoven, pp. 1-30.
Heffer, C, Dorst, K, Shepherd, R, Williamson, L, Carnie, BW & Trouton, L 2007, 'Lace: contemporary textiles exhibition and new works', Lace: contemporary textiles exhibition and new works, DAB DOCS, Sydney, pp. 1-46.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Dorst, K, 'Renku - the art of visual reframing', Renku - the art of visual reframing, DAB LAB.
This exhibition explores the nature of reframing, a core element of Design Thinking. It introduces a very special kind of reframing that is embedded in the ancient Japanese form of poetry called Renku. In Renku, 5-line verses of poetry are written in such a way that they overlap, and re-frame the last two lines of the verse before. There are strict rules about the nature of these re-frames: e.g. that the 'rhythm' or 'energy' should be constant while reversing the subject. This ancient art gives a subtle vocabulary to what in the West is often treated as a 'random' process. In this exhibition, the art of Renku is pulled away from text and made visual by using a multitude of small watercolour-and-pen pictures in series of five. These 'verses' reframe each other in different, thoughtful ways.
Ontwerpers staan erom bekend dat ze goed zijn in het bedenken van nieuwe oplossingen. Dat past ook helemaal in het sprookje van de ontwerper als een creatieve tovenaar die in een onnavolgbaar proces met briljante oplossingen komt. Maar uit onderzoekt blijkt dat topontwerpers helemaal niet zo op resultaat gericht zijn. De meeste tijd wordt besteed aan het begrijpen van het probleem, zodat ze een nieuwe benadering - een nieuwe blik, een 'frame' - kunnen careëren. Want zodra je een interessant nieuw frame hebt, zijn alle oplossingen die daaruit voortvloeien óók interessant.