Design space conceptual tool – grasping the design process

Bo Westerlund


This article concerns an alternative and relatively simple model of the design process that can be used as a conceptual tool for designing a design process. Three different examples are used to test and show the model’s relevance. This model takes a quite different turn on the process: instead of describing the process as if it would start from a problem, it suggests that it is actually the solutions that are actively used when designing. These possible solutions are referred to as the ‘design space’. The article also provides a methodological framework for understanding the different approaches with which methods can be used. Here the concepts ‘explorative’ and ‘experimental’ are essential. Finally some aspects of ‘constraints’ are discussed in relation to the design space. The model can be used for refl ecting on as well as designing design processes in education, in research and commercially.

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