Models of the Design Process
There are many models that attempt to describe designing,
including DITC's Generic Design
Model. Each inevitably simplifies this highly complex,
creative activity. One researcher has shown that beginning
designers benefit from being introduced to a simplified
design model -- so it can be of benefit to talk to students
about their designing. After getting one model under
their belts, they can be shown another and then a third.
Rand Spiro's Cognitive Flexibility Theory says that
flexible understanding is achieved when people operate
from multiple models of a concept or procedure.
This section of What Is Design presents seven models
of design behavior. Each has strengths and weaknesses
and tells a different part of the design story. Look
each over and see if you can pick and choose elements
of different ones as they fit the different design situations
you encounter in and outside the classroom.
Design Models - This model portrays different
design strategies that are done once, in a fixed order.
Design Model - This model, available in interactive
form in the opening page of Learn
About Design, has strategies in a specified order
but which can be repeated through various iterations.
Design Cycle - This improved cyclic model shows
the evolution of ideas as they move through iterations
of design strategies in a given order.
Design Model - The back-and-forth (dialectical)
movement between design idea and concrete reality
shows how designers progress from early brainstorming
work to the making of final products.
Model - MIT's Jeanne Bamberger talks about a model
that Don Schon and she created which emphasizes how
designing involves interacting with materials while
ideas emerge and develop.
Cycle - The movie with Janet Kolodner has her
describing her LBD cycle where student designers move
between inquiry and design in meeting their on-going
"need to know" and "need to do".
Design Cycle - Nigel Cross proposed a series of
design strategies done that are in no particular order
and are framed within the overall process of finding
and solving main design problems and their sub-problems.