Towards a Designer-Centred Methodology: Descriptive Considerations and Prescriptive Reflections

  • P. Badke-Schaub
  • J. Daalhuizen
  • N. Roozenburg


Design methodology aims to provide structure that supports designers dealing with complex and complicated problems in varying projects, contexts and environments. For decades, the technique for transferring methods into practice has been discussed, mainly in reference to the limited use of methods in practice. This paper addresses three issues: past, present, and future. ‘What is methodology good for?’ is asked in reference to the past and provides a brief overview of arguments from recent decades that question the benefits of design methodology. The second part elaborates on the claim that designers should be the source of information about their use of design methods. To support the plea for a designer-centred methodology, results are presented of an interview study that aimed to find out what kind of situations the users of design methods - the designers - experience as non-routine situations and how they cope with these kinds of situations. It is assumed that this information helps to determine when designers need what kind of support. Finally, the third section discusses the extent to which the new design thinking movement as a business strategy will influence the development of design methodology in the future, and closes with a summary of the implications of future trends for design methodology. The emphasis throughout is a plea for substantial methodological support in an individually personalised and situation–oriented manner to meet the demands of the user, and thus increase design performance.


Design Process Design Methodology Harvard Business School Design Thinking Team Climate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Badke-Schaub
    • 1
  • J. Daalhuizen
    • 1
  • N. Roozenburg
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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