Summary of design research article about graphic design and design thinking

Design Thinking: Standing on the Shoulders of… Graphic Design!

Rethinking design research and Buchanan’s four orders of design, in relation to graphic design research and design thinking. Prominent design discourse or advocacy in the domain of design thinking rarely depicts graphic design consistently or with sufficient rigor and understanding about the field’s role in the development of design studies.
Nor do most advocates for graphic design proffer it to be little more than a vernacular activity when competing for academic attention, despite its widespread academic presence, industry prominence, and everyday practice. The arguments presented here offer a timely critical perspective on a frequently unchallenged prevailing discourse that has echoed consistent assumptions over several decades. We call for more integrity in respect for those who design in different communication contexts, more precision in discussing how graphic design has evolved and been portrayed, and more rigor in the thoroughness and care that research into graphic design and its associated fields demands. The outcomes will be of particular interest to researchers who draw on and re-present Buchanan’s four orders of design concept and offer an alternative perspective to those who suggest graphic design relies overly on intuition when deliberating on design thinking.


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