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.