THEORETICALLY COMPARING DESIGN THINKING TO DESIGN METHODS FOR LARGE-SCALE INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS
Editor: Elies Dekoninck, Andrew Wodehouse, Chris Snider, Georgi Georgiev, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Miguel Andres Guerra, Shealy Tripp
Section: CREATIVITY IN ACTION
Design of new and re-design of existing infrastructure systems will require creative ways of thinking in order to meet increasingly high demand for services. Both the theory and practice of design thinking helps to exploit opposing ideas for creativity, and also provides an approach to balance stakeholder needs, technical feasibility, and resource constraints. This study compares the intent and function of five current design strategies for infrastructure with the theory and practice of design thinking. The evidence suggests the function and purpose of the later phases of design thinking, prototyping and testing, are missing from current design strategies for infrastructure. This is a critical oversight in design because designers gain much needed information about the performance of the system amid user behaviour. Those who design infrastructure need to explore new ways to incorporate feedback mechanisms gained from prototyping and testing. The use of physical prototypes for infrastructure may not be feasible due to scale and complexity. Future research should explore the use of prototyping and testing, in particular, how virtual prototypes could substitute the experience of real world installments and how this influences design cognition among designers and stakeholders.