Design Is Problem Solving

Design’s essence transcends its traditional roots of creating aesthetically pleasing objects; it’s increasingly recognized for its strategic value, solving problems through various forms, including intangibles like strategy and experiences.

Design is inherently meta-disciplinary, requiring designers to draw upon diverse fields such as social sciences and humanities, understanding the specific context they’re designing for. This is particularly true in user-centered design, which focuses on the end-users of services or brands. It emphasizes the designer’s need for analytical and conceptual skills to navigate a global market full of competing products and ideas.

As design contexts grow more varied, designers must delve into meta-disciplinary studies while specializing in certain areas. Understanding social sciences and humanities is essential for grasping the context in which they work and collaborating effectively with other specialists.

This approach aligns with a concept from Einstein and Infeld in 1938, emphasizing the importance of problem formulation over solution, highlighting creative imagination’s role in advancing science.

Designers, in essence, are problem solvers, akin to scientists. They excel in problem finding, formulation, and solution, which involves critical and creative thinking. This approach applies to various design fields, whether it’s web design, brand identity, or product packaging. Central to this process is the ability to formulate research questions, identify problems, and solve them through design that is not only functional but visually stunning. This multifaceted problem-solving capability defines the true essence of a designer.