Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2015

Design Inquiry: Metaphors and Images

Design inquiry is distinct from other forms of inquiry in that it is ‘inquiry for action’—not merely description, explanation, prediction,   or control. At the beginning of design inquiry it is essential to make a reality check—an ‘assessment’—of the situation at hand. What constitutes the nature of the reality that designers find themselves in when they begin designing? This assessment is too often framed as a process of ‘analysis’. When someone is directed to learn more about a situation, an organization, a person, an event or anything in the real world, the assumption is made immediately that what is needed is an ‘analysis’. Analysis is a process of breaking something into its constituent elements, which allows for a certain level of understanding and people excel at this. However, it has become clear that in order to really understand something it is important to know how the constituent elements interact as a whole—a ‘synthesis’—as well. It turns out that it is diff