It’s the willing and even enthusiastic acceptance of competing constraints.
The first stage of the design process is often about discovering which constraints are important and establishing a framework for evaluating them. Constraints can best be visualized in terms of three overlapping criteria for successful ideas:
- Feasibility – what is functionally possible within the foreseeable future
- Viability – what is likely to become part of a sustainable business model
- Desirability – what makes sense to people and for people
A competent designer will resolve each of these three constraints, but a design thinker will bring them into a harmonious balance.
This pursuit of peaceful coexistence does not imply that all constraints are created equal; a given project may be disproportionately by technology, budget, or a mix of human factors. Different types of organizations may push one or another of them to the forefront. Nor is it a simple linear process. Design teams will cycle back through all three considerations throughout the life of a project, but the emphasis is on fundamental human needs – as distinct from fleeting or artificially manipulated desires.
That’s what drives design thinking to depart from the status quo.
Questions for ChurchWorld leaders:
- What are the constraints facing you today?
- Can you classify them into the 3 categories listed above?
- How will you balance them?
inspired by and adapted from Change by Design, by Tim Brown