At this summer's 99U conference, Pentagram partner and designer Natasha Jen gave a presentation with an eye-catching title: "Design Thinking is Bullshit." This was actually the second time she'd given the talk—back in May Jen tweeted "Finally let it out of my system" after presenting it at HOWlive in Chicago—but video of it was never released, so few got to see it. But this month video of the 99U talk was finally made public:
What do you think? On the one hand I think Jen's correct in that distilling a complicated process into an easily-replicable formula isn't always possible, but on the other hand I see the "Design Thinking" introduction to businesses as a positive step towards fresh thinking. I had always assumed "Crit" was built into the process, but perhaps those of you with direct experience of a design-unsavvy business first attempting to integrate the process could speak to this.
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I wholeheartedly agree with Jen's assertion that design is not merely a box to be checked, and I think the idea that anyone can be a designer will of course be anathema to practicing professionals. I also support her push for evidence, and on this note, if you're not already reading Design That Matters' series of posts, you ought to be!