The 5S framework of Design

In this series, I discuss the idea of frames - dominant boundaries - through which design is projected, perceived and practiced. I articulate each frame through an ess (‘S’); short for ess(ence), and discuss design and its impact. This is established through 5 essays; one for each ‘S’, in the following order – Shaping, Solving, Staging, Speculating and Setting.

Design is Shaping
The reader is introduced to how design shapes the world, with a discussion on characteristics of shaping and its limitations.

Design is Solving
The reader is introduced to the dominant paradigm of design as a problem solving activity, with examples and its limitations.

Design is Staging
The reader is introduced to the world of designing experiences. The limitations of staging or commodification of experiences is also discussed.

Design is Speculating
The reader is introduced to the role of design in envisioning the future.

Design is Setting
The reader is introduced to the role of the designer in setting boundaries or understanding the limits of design, as well as the role that design plays in setting our aspirations or desires; in setting thresholds or benchmarks or standards that define icons or archetypes of design.