Design challenges

Challenges to perception

Design challenges the way that we look at and think about the world and the artefacts that have been created by humankind. You  may find, when you begin studying, that you may look at some ordinary, everyday objects completely differently when you think about how they have been designed and made, how well they work and whether there is room for improvement or completely rethinking them. This is great because the critique that comes from your new perceptions will help you to see the ways that things could be improved

Challenges to attitudes

Design thinking requires a tolerance of open-ended problems and uncertainty which some people find challenging. There are no right and wrong answers in design, some proposals may be better than others and become more dominant than others but there are no absolute answers. Think about the way some of the products that you use today have changed and evolved over your lifetime. Different ways of thinking about objects, new materials, new technologies, new aesthetics and new needs have shaped the world around us. Learning to handle uncertainty and complexity is part of becoming a design thinker and it should help you to stay calm and collected even if problems seem complex and unstructured at first. 

Challenges to fail

If you have come through a school system that focused on success and achievement you may be worried about failing. The irony is that designers learn much more from failure than they do from success. Each failed design helps to clarify the problem and moves you nearer to a better, more robust solution.

Challenges to change the world

There are many big challenges globally for which design thinking is being used to try to find innovative solutions. One of the leading international design companies, IDEO, regularly sets design challenges and asks people across the world to come up with solutions. 

To give you a feel for design thinking visit the OpenIdeo Design Challenges site and take a look at the kinds of challenges there and the solutions that people have proposed. If any of their current challenge catches your imagination why not have a go at proposing an idea? Some of the ideas on the site are at the 'refinement' stage, so you may find that even if you don't have an idea yourself you could build on a shortlisted idea and think about how it might work in practice.

Share your thoughts on the challenges to change the world on the Meet and Chat forum 

Go to Design Inspirations

Last modified: Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016, 14:52