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3.3 Other models of design

Having now begun to make simple models of the design process, let us consider whether this is useful. Are such models helpful in working on and developing a new design? I will postulate that there are no practically useful, general theories of design and that the study of successful designers does not necessarily lead to practices that help us to produce designs ourselves. Rather, I take the view that design is strongly situated – what constitutes good design methodology in one context may not be universally true – and that general understanding is built on experience of different contexts. Specific understanding of how, say, your own company understands, manages and executes design is hard won and valuable.

This is not to say that there are no models at a high level of abstraction that inform our understanding of the design process. The models presented in the previous section had useful messages in forming a basic understanding of how designers work.

In the following pages we will examine some of the models proposed by a variety of experts. Then you will have the chance to decide what you think about them, and the possibility of a general and useful model of design.


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