Key Messages

In essence this paper seeks to answer the question: what are the essential elements of
designing as a human activity that makes it possible to transfer these skills and attitudes
beyond the world of design?

The paper proposes to split the phenomenon of design into
Design Thinking and its social dynamic counterpart into Design Acting Design thinking is
what designers do individually and in a collaborative setting of peer designers. The paper
explores design thinking by reviewing literature aiming to discern some specific qualities that
might be transferable outside the traditional field of design. We look at cases like Formula 1
designer Gorden Murray, architect Frank Gehry and industrial designer James Dyson in this
perspective. The well-documented case of Edison and his invention of the telephone illustrate
our discussion of design thinking Design acting is described as the socio-interactive
dimension of design, which places the designer in his social environment and promotes the
design actor to an interventionist aiming to provoke change among the affected (non-design
educated) stakeholders.

Design beyond design: Design Thinking & Design Acting