How I See Design Thinking

Sometimes when I think about Design Thinking I get quite stressed out about what it actually is. I understand it is a tool to make a product better?A  the moment there is so much information that I am taking in that the simple things are harder for me to understand…

Nevertheless, I am going to do my best in describing how I see design thinking and how I think it has taken a part in my project/practice and it’s outcome. (there are a lot of ‘I think’s in this next paragraph)

I suppose the main part of design thinking for me is connecting and reaching out to people that may be able to help with my installation. At first it was discussing how to make the project portable. It is also reaching out to people that you may not have necessarily would have ever spoken to if it wasn’t for a certain piece of information you needed or have come across. I think, though, it it very different to just asking for help and that being that, it is more discussive and open in terms of the ideas that flow in and out of a conversation. For the installation, I think I see the Design Thinking process taking in shape in how I have worked with the technicians. Their knowledge has been a key part to the running of the installation – and very much would have been able to run how it is running now without them – but it is also a mixture of using their creative ideas and how to use the technology mixed with a vision (or lack of in terms of me being to vocally talk about what it is I want to do) of my concepts and ideas. I also think that the process has pushed my further than I have realised as it has enabled me to be able to talk about my project with some sort of confidence and to work with poets who I wouldn’t ever have thought I would be doing for this iteration of the installation. This is key for me as it is helping me to understand my own practice a bit more. I am almost certain that the process, although sometimes I don’t see that I am using it, has allowed me to less afraid of asking questions and that I can see is quite important to the process.

From the side of the artist instead of being the venue, it was a different place for me to be in – I was asking different questions and had to find different people.

In short, how I see Design Thinking is by allowing for open conversations and creative conversations where the point is to taking in everyone’s opinions and ideas and mixing them with what you already have.

I would quite like to understand it a bit more but I think it will be more in the full reflective part of the process that may take me a couple of months to see how things were working. It is interesting to see how I can place Design Thinking when running events – recently I have been asked to co-curate a show in Cardiff and then suggested trying to put on a show in Cheltenham because it would be a challenge for me. With the Cardiff show it was easy to know where to go, who to talk to, what to do – it was safe. With Cheltenham I had a full on blank on where to start. I can see now that it probably very similar to a Design Thinking process that got me to where I was. I was taking other people suggestions and Ideas and factoring them all into the final outcome. From sorting a venue for the gig and also finding musicians for the ensemble. I knew though, even though I found it uncomfortable and a little stressful, that in the end it would only be a positive thing for me because of the new connections I made in such a short amount of time.

I’m not really sure if this still makes any sense but maybe it is just a connecting game for me – because I like to talk to people and find out what they do and what their skills are and finding ways for people to work with people, I can see that maybe this process is quite good for that kind of thing?






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