Critical design thinking introduction

Today we started our rotation on critical design thinking first we discussed what critical thinking is and why we need it.

We talked about how critical design thinking is not just about the design but also the thought process behind it and the reasoning for the decisions we make and how we need to think like this not only to produce work that is visually pleasing but also gets a message across or serves the purpose it is intended to.

We also looked into why the discussion behind design is essential because through group discussions and debates we are able to see other people view on the topic and then get a better insight as to how others will view the work we do

Asking questions is the main part (in my opinion) of critical design thinking always asking yourself what it is you want communicate to your audience and how your going to do that.

It’s backing up your decisions and the reasons for what you have done and having sound reasons for your design decisions so that when you have to discuss or pitch your finished product or design to a client or audience you will be able to justify each part of the design and show people the logical thinking in your process.

We also discussed aesthetic, what is beautiful and what is ugly? Sara made the point of this mainly coming down to things like personal preference, culture background and economical state and how these all will impact on people’s taste towards and view of your work.

One of the most interesting topics that was brought up today was ethics we talked about how your own morality and ethics may come into play when you are being offered or approached with work from potential clients for example Sara told us about how she had been approached by a cigarette company to do work for them but turned it down because she believed it would be unethical of her to work for a company that creates a product that she thinks is harmful to the world.

Metaphysics was another issue that we talked about Sara explained that when thinking about design in a critical way one thing we will need to think about is what things go together and work hand in hand like salt and pepper (two things that are almost always found/work together)

Sara also brought up politics and told us that being upto date with what is happening in the world of politics will also help us in being able to think about the kind of work we will take on through out our careers and how that will effect what work you may be approached with in the future.

Design is power was a phrase we looked into whilst discussing this Sara showed us some good examples of how design can be a powerful force in our world here is an example of design by Alexander Rodchenko who was a constructivist designer who had a great effect on the russian revolution and the other image is of the refurbishment of a childrens hospital that was done by a studio called Studio Myerscough. This can show how design can effect the world in such different ways on one hand the first image was effective in changing the course of a revolution and the other was something that would have brought alot of happiness to young children and people working in the hospital making it a more pleasant place to be.



Sara then recommended some reading material for us to look at that should help us better understand critical design thinking

Adrian shaughnessy: how to e a graphic designer without losing your soul

Richard Buchanan: the designed world images objects environments)


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