Writing in design thinking - Deconstructing the question of being

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2 Scopus citations


Design Thinking has now been widely adopted as an effective way to creatively solve problems in disciplines as diverse as design, engineering, management, and business. What remains uncharted territory is how Design Thinking relates to the discovery of what it means to be. The purpose of this paper is to explore how design faculty can allow room in their classes for students to uncover their place in the world. Using Heidegger's insights on being and thinking, we posit that by exploring the question of being, design students can engage with the design process in a way that adds new dimensions that could otherwise remain unexplored, reaching higher levels of excellence and creativity. And, writing, through its ability to unravel, expose, and communicate thought processes can be the vehicle toward that transformation. Moving across the design curriculum, we share three writing exercises that enable students to delve deeper into understanding themselves: manifestos, short writing pieces through which students can position themselves as designers; reflectionnaires, exercises used in a history class to entice students to search deep inside themselves and be sensitive to their feelings and thoughts through means such as visits in the community and imagining themselves as an inanimate object; and chime-in tallies, an exercise that fuses technology with memoir-writing. The paper closes by calling for the development of more writing exercises that speak to the diversity of the student body and challenges educators to define additional ways by which the question of being is embedded into their teaching

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Being
  • Culture.
  • Design pedagogy
  • History
  • Writing


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