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Theoretical Foundations of Design Thinking

Part I: John E. Arnold’s Creative Thinking Theories
  • Julia P. A. von Thienen
  • William J. Clancey
  • Giovanni E. Corazza
  • Christoph Meinel
Chapter
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)

Abstract

Design thinking is acknowledged as a thriving innovation practice plus something more, something in the line of a deep understanding of innovation processes. At the same time, quite how and why design thinking works—in scientific terms—appeared an open question at first. Over recent years, empirical research has achieved great progress in illuminating the principles that make design thinking successful. Lately, the community began to explore an additional approach. Rather than setting up novel studies, investigations into the history of design thinking hold the promise of adding systematically to our comprehension of basic principles. This chapter makes a start in revisiting design thinking history with the aim of explicating scientific understandings that inform design thinking practices today. It offers a summary of creative thinking theories that were brought to Stanford Engineering in the 1950s by John E. Arnold.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Larry Leifer, Bernie Roth, Jim Adams and Barry Katz for encouraging this research and most valuable support, including the generous sharing of personal memories bearing on the history of design thinking and suggestions for improving this chapter. Many collaborators have kindly contributed their experiences and thoughts. Among them, we specifically wish to thank Neeraj Sonalkar, Ade Mabogunje, Chris Ford, Steven Ney and John E. Arnold Jr. for their helpful reflections and Anja Perlich for co-organizing a workshop on design thinking history. For her support in copyediting this manuscript we thank Sharon Nemeth.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia P. A. von Thienen
    • 1
  • William J. Clancey
    • 2
  • Giovanni E. Corazza
    • 3
  • Christoph Meinel
    • 1
  1. 1.Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering at the University of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Florida Institute for Human and Machine CognitionPensacolaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Electrical, Electronic & Information EngineeringUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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