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Abstract and Figures

In his keynote speech at the Design Management Institute conference in London in 2015, Richard Buchanan, professor of design, management, and information systems at the Case Western Reserve University in the USA, distinguishes between design thinking as "a cognitive decision-making process" and design thinking as "a spirit that permeates a culture or an organization". This paper examines design thinking in Singapore through investigating the way in which three of the country's most critically acclaimed design firms, FITCH, IBM iX and Chemistry, have adopted and adapted design thinking principles in different contexts: retail design, systems design, and social design. The methods used here can be linked to the design thinking methodology as incepted by Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, also referred to as d.School. The pragmatic characteristics of d.School's design thinking process makes it easy to adopt. However, the key question which this paper will raise, is whether or not design thinking can unite a greater range of stakeholders in Singapore, given that the country's Ministry of Communications and Information has elevated design as a key driver through the Design 2025 Master Plan which was issued in 2015. This initiative builds on the other definition of design thinking, the notion of a spirit. This paper discusses how expanding the collaborative attitudes within culture and society can potentially promote design thinking as a 'spirit' within a nation. Could design thinking be reframed to become a language-like concept that connects people and societies in their shared ambition to shape future lives? What are Singapore's prospects with respect to this endeavor?
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design'thinking'—'towards'a'new'perspective''
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In#his#keynote#speech#at#the#Design#Management#Institute#conference#in#
London#in#2015,#Richard#Buchanan,#professor#of#design,#management,#and#
information#systems#at#the#Case#Western#Reserve#University#in#the#USA,#
distinguishes#between#design#thinking#as#“a#cognitive#decision-making#
process”#and#design#thinking#as#“a#spirit#that#permeates#a#culture#or#an#
organization”.##
#
This#paper#examines#design#thinking#in#Singapore#through#investigating#the#
way#in#which#three#of#the#country’s#most#critically#acclaimed#design#firms,#
FITCH,#IBM#iX#and#Chemistry,#have#adopted#and#adapted#design#thinking#
principles#in#different#contexts:#retail#design,#systems#design,#and#social#
design.#The#methods#used#here#can#be#linked#to#the#design#thinking#
methodology#as#incepted#by#Stanford#University’s#Hasso#Plattner#Institute#of#
Design,#also#referred#to#as#d.School.#The#pragmatic#characteristics#of#
d.School’s#design#thinking#process#makes#it#easy#to#adopt.#However,#the#key#
question#which#this#paper#will#raise,#is#whether#or#not#design#thinking#can#
unite#a#greater#range#of#stakeholders#in#Singapore,#given#that#the#country’s#
Ministry#of#Communications#and#Information#has#elevated#design#as#a#key#
driver#through#the#Design#2025#Master#Plan#which#was#issued#in#2015.#This#
initiative#builds#on#the#other#definition#of#design#thinking,#the#notion#of#a#
spirit.#This#paper#discusses#how#expanding#the#collaborative#attitudes#within#
culture#and#society#can#potentially#promote#design#thinking#as#a#‘spirit’#within#
a#nation.#Could#design#thinking#be#reframed#to#become#a#language-like#
concept#that#connects#people#and#societies#in#their#shared#ambition#to#shape#
future#lives?#What#are#Singapore’s#prospects#with#respect#to#this#endeavor?#
#
Keywords:#interdisciplinary,#innovation,#design#management,#design#
teaching,#methodology#
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Matthias#Hillner,#Stanley#Lim
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Acknowledgements:#We#would#like#to#thank#Stefan#Hirsch#
from#IBMiX,#Karin#Aue#and#Nicholas#Loke#from#Chemistry,#as#
well#as#Andrew#Crombie,#Kristian#Jones,#and#Gene#Wang#from#
FITCH.#
design#thinking#—#towards#a#new#perspective
"a%
References''
%3,6M16.2<%;G<%UM/P@0#$<%'%,2-%S,@$E<%(G%H!A"_I)%J.6+.C$042#%45%$E.%:,M@.%45%
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36,5$021%$E.%O@$@6.%?%"A$E%U@64C.,2%*+,-./D%45%&.#012%
3425.6.2+.<%f4$E.2N@61<%RK.-.2G%!A"_G%S.$60.:.-%*@1@#$%"c<%
!A"a<%564/)%
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3,6M16.2<%;G<%UM/P@0#$<%'%,2-%S,@$E<%(G%H!A"WIG%XE.%3E,MM.21.#%45%=#021%
&.#012%XE02L021%02%(2-@#$6D%?%U8C.60.2+.#%564/%O0:.%;,61.%O06/#G%
Creativity#and#Innovation#Management,#Vol.#25,#Issue#3,#pp.#344-
362G%n4E2%90M.D%d%R42#G%%
3E./0#$6DG%H2G-GIG%Chemistry#is#an#award#winning#Innovation#Design#
Consultancy,#based#in#SingaporeG%S.$60.:.-%*@1@#$%"c<%!A"a<%564/)%
E$$C)mmKKKG+E./0#$6D$.,/G+4/%746/,2<%&G%H!A"A<%!A%n,2%!A""IG%
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This paper uses resources from anthropology and science and technology studies to propose understanding design expertise and activity as constituted materially and discursively in practice. Introducing a pair of concepts - design-as-practice and designs-in-practice - as an analytical device for discussing design solves a number of problems facing researchers working in design studies. First, it helps researchers see design as a situated, local accomplishment involving diverse and multiple actors. Second, it acknowledges the roles of objects in constituting practices. Third, it de-centers the designer as the main agent in designing. This approach moves away from a disembodied, ahistorical design thinking to a situated, contingent set of practices carried by professional designers and those who engage with designs, which recognizes the materiality of designed things and the material and discursive practices through which they come to matter.
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Design Thinking (DT) is advocated as a user-centred approach to innovation, based on the way designers think and work. Despite being increasingly promoted as an approach to innovation, there is still little evidence of successful impact. Rather, indications suggest that firms find implementation challenging. The purpose of this paper is to analyse challenges of using DT in light of literature on innovation barriers, in order to discuss whether there is something unique about DT as a concept that makes it particularly challenging to use. The paper is based on an interview study of five large firms that all have at least five years of experience of using DT. The analysis shows that several of the perceived challenges can be linked to known barriers to innovation. However, other challenges have not previously been described in the innovation literature, and the paper suggests that there are some unique aspects of DT that makes it particularly challenging for firms to integrate it in innovation work. These are related to its core themes: user focus, problem framing, experimentation, visualization and diversity. Additionally, the paper contributes with an empirically based categorization of challenges that managers will find useful if they want to implement design thinking in their organizations.
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Chemistry is an award winning Innovation Design Consultancy, based in Singapore
Chemistry. (n.d.). Chemistry is an award winning Innovation Design Consultancy, based in Singapore. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from: http://www.chemistryteam.com Norman, D. (2010, 20 Jan 2011).
Singapore implements new tax incentives for design innovation
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DesignSingapore Council. (2017). Innovation by Design Conference 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017, from: https://www.designsingapore.org/designdirectory/sdwhome/mod ules/event/2017/ innovation-by-design-conference FITCH. (n.d.). The Joy of Shopping: It's All in the Mind. Retrieved July 5, 2017, from: http://www.fitch. com/think/the-joy-of-shopping-its-all-in-the-mind
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Garcia, L. M. (2012). Understanding design thinking, exploration and exploitation: Implications for design strategy. IDBM Papers Vol. 2, pp. 150-161. IDBM Program, Aalto University.
Can design support Singapore's transition from a consumer society towards a more creative community
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Towards a Toolkit for Practicing Experience Designers (Doctoral Disseration) National University of Singapore
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