Design thinking is not design. Design thinking is to design what the scientific method is to science. It’s the steps without the knowledge and the years of training. And design thinking is a real danger because many companies think they’re doing design and they’re not. So it’s become a real consultant’s playground, and a way for many companies to abdicate their responsibilities towards design. It’s really a big problem. If you only deal with the process without any education beforehand, you’re discounting the idea of design, [saying it is] something you don’t have to go to school to learn.
As our capability (and impulse) to connect everything increases, we need designers and design methodologies to provide a human lens to better understand, interpret and pinpoint value from the data we are reaping. Connecting more end points and sensors to gather data for data’s sake produces simply more data - not more value. Data attains value when it creates insights into unforeseen opportunities or improves the lives of end users

Anab Jain is a designer, filmmaker, founder and director of the London-and-India-based design studio Superflux, which runs in partnership with Jon Ardern. The studio consistently produces inventive and critical work exploring the limits of emerging technologies and their implications on society and culture. In her lecture at Fabrica, she explores the vision of their studio as a new kind of design practice — one that is responsive to the unique challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

The modern designer works with more materials than ever before. Not just tangible materials, such as the web, or desktop software, or the smartphone; also, intangible ‘immaterials’ such as data, time, radio, and the network.

To design well with materials, be they tangible or not, we need to be conversant in them, acutely aware of their capabilities. How do we develop that familiarity?

Tom Armitage - The Material World

Mike Friton is a freelance shoemaker, weaver, paper sculptor and innovator with over 30 years of experience at Nike. His innovations are responsible for many elements of athletic footwear that people wear today. Each of his crafts informs one another and he is constantly exploring the fringes of his field. Mike’s work is a great example of how non-traditional methods of exploring one’s craft can lead to unique end results. (via Ed)

Often I don’t really know how to do many of the technical details I want to do. I know that it’s possible, so I just start by trying. I just jump on the sewing machine and see what comes out the other side. At St. Martins, I was told to come up with drawings first, but clothes are meant for the body and its design has to start as a physical thing, not a concept. It’s because we don’t work with preset rules that we’re able to take things to a whole new level. From pattern making, to selecting materials, to the sewing, the closures, we developed everything by ourselves.
Conroy Nachtigall (Arc’teryx Veilance) - Archetype