…the Design Process?

We have been posed the question WHAT IS THE DESIGN PROCESS as a group for our Cultural Module and after a little research there a some things to question.

What would you say the design process is:

  1. A process to solve a problem?
  2. A process to be creative?
  3. A process to satisfy a need?
  4. A process as a Human activity process?

For this post I am going to write later my thoughts on this, but for those people following it would be good if you shared your view.


27th September 2012 17:23

Other questions I’m thinking about regarding describing the design process are:

What do you notice?

What’s the generic?

What unique?

What would you use from them?

What are the key stages

When are you focusing on:

– general overview of concept and thinking holistically?

– design details?

When are you:

exploring and generating? (divergent)

synthesising and deciding? (convergent)

Royal Institute of British Architects Plan of Work and a linear map of the design process
Source P116 & P117 Design Management – Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation by Kathryn Best (2006)

1st October 2012 14:40

Some other Design Process Models found through research are:

  • Design Council
  • Engine
  • Ideo
  • LiveWork
  • Particple
  • Design Against Crime
  • Nesta Age unlimited project
  • Designit’s
  • Commonground

After a frenzied morning yesterday discussing what the design process is. We as a group came up with a concept around the design process.

We see the design process being similar to the ancient Romans favourite event, fighting in the Coliseum. The Coliseum is the cauldron of the process where ideas (Similar looking to Neurons). We see the audience as the client and others, we suggested using Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hat method  to assess ideas from this viewpoint.

Neurons are the fighters. Just imagine, ideas start off weak and then start to be trained up to fight.

See the photo

This is a Design Process Concept thought up in our Group

2nd October 2012 @ 7:14 at Home



…Book Assignment

The three books to review

Homework – Review 3 books that we have found in Ravensbourne library.

Book 1
Writing Comedy – A Guide to Scriptwriting for TV, Radio, Film and Stage by Ronald Wolfe 2003
The reason I choose this book was as I like comedy, public speaking and how humor can be used in services. I enjoyed this book by Ronald Wolfe as the chapters and the subject matter was short and to the point. Useful insights into techniques for gags and these can be transferred to generating ideas and having fun. The way I decided to read this book was to read the introduction and the table of contents to fish out any interesting points on comedy structure for mainly public speaking and service design.

For each chapter I have summarised:

CH 1 Getting Started – The main point described is do not worry about technical terms or layout. Just make the script understood WRITE IT AND FINISH IT.

CH 2 Are there any formulas? – Outlines some simple techniques for starting generating gags. Easy and simple to use.

CH 3 How do you start writing a sketch? – Think about a broad topic in the news and apply tricks to spark your ideas off.

CH 8 Visual Comedy – Sums up “When you have to tell your audience something – think … is there a visual way of doing it? and of course getting a laugh.”

CH 9 Characterisation – Have strong characters.

CH 20 Standup Comedy

  1. Method: Subject
  3. Work out a gag or two for each word on list.
  4. Make a routine

I enjoyed the book, the subjects explained used many examples and chapters were short. Recommend.

Time – 1 hour 30mins

Book 2
Basic Layout Design – By Tommy Thompson 1950

This book is old, older than me by 30 years.
Looked at the table of contents. It is a very interesting and simply designed book. It is about graphic design and how it is evolving in 1950 perspective. It gets down to basics with form and lines with great visual examples.
Interesting quotes
P22 – “All nature is in balance. Disrupted, it corrects itself. Observing it enlarges our own sense of balance. Our inherent sense, if realised, helps us to criticise and adjust our patterns.Our work then becomes an imitation of nature, but a fuller expression of nature through ourselves.”
P24 “To design is to designate; to plan mentally, to set apart for a purpose; to scheme. Then, and only then, it it to picture. Technique without theme is expressionless and unbalanced. Technique that dominates structure is dishonest and unnatural” not sure if I agree on the not practicing and trial and error part.”

Time – 45mins

Book 3
The Computer Game Design Course – principles, practices and techniques for the aspiring game designer by Jim Thompson, Barnaby Berbank-Grenn and Nic Cusworth 2007

The book is made up of three parts (Design Theory, Design Process and Design Production). The chapters that interested me were:
– Storytelling games – Give the story structure and multiple story structure used in games and levels.
– Communication and writing – Great information for making a pitch document

It is a well structured book on the idea to production and to playing a game. Very visual and loads of examples and case studies.

Time – 30min

…Welcome, Why and How?

Let me introduce myself I’m Richard McMurray a 31 year old Mancunian who lives in lovely London. I have just started a full time Post Graduate course (MDes) in Service Design at Ravenbourne.
This blog is going to become my research and learning log for this year and beyond.

Our first assignment this week has been to write why I am here, so let’s go:

I decided to go to Ravensbourne’s after 7 years of working in the construction industry, mainly the mechanical and electrical discipline. After experiencing many roles and catching the innovation bug I decided to explore and find about Service Design. I feel that this is the new frontier for competitive advantage to companies and the way we are all going to become more sustainable to our environment because we have become so efficient from the industrial revolution era that we need to improve the level of thinking, design and interaction of services to all users instead of just producing more STUFF (Source – In the Bubble – Designing in a complex World by John Thankara 2005).

The reasons for choosing Ravenbourne were:

  1. I wanted to study Service Design in London and there are only 3/4 places where you can study in London.
  2. There were other courses, however costs are tight at this time and I felt Ravensbourne was the best value for money and time.
  3. The course is very new and I felt that I could help to shape the course. It fits with the way design works from dreams to reality in real life.
  4. Ravensbourne’s offering is very different from conventional universities. From their new interactive building to the mindset of the staff. It gives off the attitude and drive that they are always wanting to try and improve. I have never been to a university were in the first week you are thrown in with all the other post graduate students to make a short film. It cultivates a lot of the new thoughts and co-collaboration which is impressive and gets away from the silo mentality which stifles a lot businesses at present.

So what do I want to achieve from going to Ravensbourne you ask?

  1. I want to have found a direction/niche area to develop in the Service Design field.
  2. Communicate and facilitate in different ways well from using improvisation, sketching ideas, views and presenting.
  3. I clear understanding of Service Design knowledge and the commercial market.
  4. A great network of people I can speak to.
  5. “I want Dreamers that Do.” Lovely quote I heard on TV from Richard Reid (Innocent Smoothies) on BBC3 Be Your Own Boss (Source – Be Your Own Boss BBC3 19/09/12). I want to practice what I preach; use the tools and knowledge confidently.

How am I going to achieve this?

  1. EXPLORE – Look at the Service Design companies out there and business models being developed
  2. PRACTICE – In all situation never be afraid to try different things: improvise, sketch and post on this blog. “READY FIRE and AIM” (Source – Phil McKinney)
  3. LEARN – Read, write and draw about the activities, books and experiences I come across this year and post my findings and thoughts on this blog.
  4. BUILD – Through this blog and other activities build my portfolio and own brand.
  5. SHARE – Always be looking to share knowledge and information. It makes everything so much more fun.
  6. ENGAGE (TALK AND LAUGH) – The most important is to blog every day with worth while thoughts and questions. Chat to and talk to different types of people to find out their opinions and perspectives as Service Design is about empathising and listening.

So the journey begins Enjoy