The Stage of Business – Design Paradigm the Creative Process

Creative integration is no mystery, however, many techniques are personal approaches to get the process moving. Just remember, the process has structure. Often, when people struggle to craft a creative solution, it is because they have not done sufficient pre-work to establish the design rules. Design is an objective solution to a specific problem. Successful designs are good because they solve the problem well.

Design paradigms are models, archetypes, or quintessential examples of designed solutions to problems. The term “design paradigm” is used within the design professions, including architecture, industrial design and engineering design, to indicate an archetypal solution.

For example a Swiss army knife is a design paradigm illustrating the concept of a single object that changes configuration to address a number of problems.

Design paradigms can be used either to describe a design solution, or as an approach to design problem solving. Problem solving occurs through a process of abstraction and characterization of design solutions, with subsequent categorization into problem solving types.

This approach is akin to the use of metaphor in language; metaphors are used to help explain concepts that are new or unfamiliar, and to bridge between a problem we understand and a problem we don’t.

Design paradigms then can be seen as higher order metaphors; as the often three-dimensional distillation of a working relationship between parts, between groups of things, between the known and the unknown. In this sense, a bridge is a paradigm of the connection between the known and the unknown, and the functional equivalent of a physical bridge is consequently used in many fields from computer hardware to architecture.

The design paradigms concept has proven so powerful in traditional fields of design, that it has inspired a branch of computer science, where computational analogies to design paradigms are commonly called design patterns. Importantly however, in design professions the term “design pattern” usually describes a two-dimensional structure, whereas the term paradigm (or model) usually implies a higher order, having three or more dimensions.

Design paradigms can be used as a mechanism to find creative solutions to complex problems.

We have glanced over our shoulder to get a glimpse of the past, tried to pin down the present and peered into the future. We have pondered the importance of risk, change and creativity on the future of business. It is time to take a look at what these impacts of the economy and the stage of business have to do with industry.

Art is the jealous mistress. Design is the jealous mistress. Creativity is the key. Commitment, determination and humility are the way.