|M.Sc Student||Herrmann Marnina Eden|
|Subject||Thinking about "Design Thinking": A Comparative Study|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Gabriela Goldschmidt|
|Full Thesis text|
This study explores the different interpretations of the term design thinking from a historical, linguistic and practical perspective. The study employs both qualitative and quantitative methodology in order to identify trends within contemporary design thinking texts from the business and design communities. While this study looks at both the design and business communities’ interpretations of design thinking it is important to note that this study was conducted by a designer. The study is comprised of four sections: a literature survey, semi-structured interviews, a semiotic analysis and a factorial analysis. A wide range of texts, dating back to as early as 1960, from the disciplines of design, science, planning and management, are discussed in order to provide historical context to the discussion. Additionally, more modern sources are examined in order to highlight some of the common themes in design thinking literature. Fourteen hour long, semi-structured interviews with a wide range of design thinking practitioners are used to provide a practical perspective as well as to gather anecdotal evidence. The semiotic analysis is applied to an assortment of texts from this century in order to identify commonalities and differences in how the design and business communities define and describe the term. Following the semiotic analysis results are further analysed using a two-factor design factorial analysis. The commonalities and differences brought to light by the semiotic analysis and factorial analysis are discussed in practical terms, drawing correlations to the literature and interviews to provide a greater understanding not only as to how design thinking manifests in the two communities, but why these commonalities and differences exist. By researching the evolution of the term from the perspective of different industries as well as exploring the term's historical, linguistic and practical contexts, the goal of this study is to create a common language between the different people and communities involved in innovation and creation.