triad of
The design process is iterative, integrative and recursive. The student should be aware of the dangers of following a templatized process or an over reliance on methods16. The design process is not prescriptive, for the ‘path is laid in walking’17.

INTEGRATIVE implies that knowledge and skills from diverse fields are applied in the act of synthesis or creation of artefacts. The designer has to learn how to navigate the disciplinarities of intra and inter, cross and multi, hetero and trans; and anti-disciplinariness. Each of these stances do not compete with each other. One has to be able to judge the merits of each stance and integrate them into their practice.

ITERATIVE implies that the designer’s thoughts, feelings and actions are refined over time. Iterations are not repetitions or clones or copies, but variations — incremental or radical improvements18 — of the design, reflected in each subsequent mock-up or prototype.

RECURSIVE implies that the designer engages in reflective practice19 — that the feedback from previous iterations finds its way back into the decision loop. This is a matter of judgement, and the designer has to determine and prioritize what is meaningful and what to leave behind.

  1. read Paul Feyerabend in Against Method (1970) for monism in science.
  2. read Francisco Varela in Laying Down a Path in Walking (Chapter 11) in The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (1993).
  3. read Donald A. Norman and Robert Verganti in Incremental and Radical Innovation: Design Research versus Technology and Meaning Change (2012).
  4. read Donald Schon in The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action (1983).