The Design Industrial Complex

Mehrere kritische Blicke auf Human Centered Design und Design Thinking. Einerseits sowieso kritisch zu hinterfragen weil Cargo Cult (und Meta: Ich haette gerne einen besseren, nicht auf westlicher herabschauender Sicht basierenden Begriff dafuer).

Andererseits die Diskussionsthese:

Antworten darauf:

Design for systems, not users. The unintended consequences of user-centered design (via @alexislloyd, Autorin des Artikels)

As a designer, I try to look at both the explicit and implicit choices being made in designing an experience. And the implicit choices baked into much of our software are deeply problematic, creating shiny user experiences on top of extractive and exploitative business models. As I think through how we might make more ethical choices, how we might make those implicit choices explicit, I’ve found myself looking critically at the practice of user-centered design. The fundamental problem is this:
User-centered design focuses attention on consumers, not societies
[…]
As Kevin Slavin writes in his essay Design as Participation, “When designers center around the user, where do the needs and desires of the other actors in the system go? The lens of the user obscures the view of the ecosystems it affects.”

So in effect, user-centered design ends up being a mirror for both radical individualism and capitalism.

“Design Thinking”: Defending Silicon Valley at the Apex of Global Labor Hierarchies (via @NCResq):

A “design thinker” promises insights, new markets, and aesthetic judgment, like a divining rod leading to new markets or domains of life ripe for intervention. Those who possess cosmopolitanism ─ an affable, empathic rapport with consumers and corporate executives alike ─ can promise value in these worlds. Those whom clients, investors, and immigration interviewers read as the right kind of cosmopolitan, even if not white, read as citizens of Pink’s “conceptual age.” These are the racialized people whom Mark Zuckerberg defends when he defends the DREAM Act. These are the immigrant startup founders the US Department of State sought to recruit under Obama-era start-up promotion laws. These are the very same racialized start-up founders Steve Bannon, former Trump strategist, said overpopulate executive roles in Silicon Valley. Economic nationalism depends on hierarchies of race and economic practice to mobilize people in the name of whiteness and economy. Bannon shows the iron hand of this logic and IDEO the velvet glove.
[…]
On its face, design thinking appears as a form of engineering that integrates feminized rationalities of storytelling and empathy. Yet to treat design thinking as a feminist practice ignores the global divisions of labor and distributions of value that make this sensibility of touching, feeling, and making valuable and effective

Ergaenzt wurde das neulich durch einen Linktipp von @bumblblu: On Design Thinking

Design means something even broader now. Sometime around World War II, it came to mean making things that “solve problems.” With the influence of mid-century global social movements and the rise of digital technology, it began to mean making things that are “human-centered.” And as of recently, design doesn’t have to involve making things at all. It can just mean a way of thinking.
[…]
To be a design thinker, then, is to see a hospital-shift change and a guerrilla war as design problems. It is to see “design,” whatever the word might mean, as applicable to just about anything. But even as “design thinking” rendered “design” yet more capacious ,  it also jettisoned the self-conscious suspicion of “methodology” at which designers, following Horst Rittel, had arrived in the ’60s. Design thinking was unambiguously a recipe, a formula, a five-step program. The stories of Kaiser and Colombia are stories of a defined and tidy linear process, a jaunt from one colored hexagon to the next.
It was design for a service economy: memorable, saleable, repeatable, apparently universal, and slightly vague in the details.
[…]
This is what worries me about design thinking: its colossal and seductive promise. There was an earlier Anglo-American vogue for design — a love affair with industrial design, beginning in the Depression era — but it was relatively benign in its claims and its outcomes. This more recent vogue for design thinking seems more insidious because it promises so much more. It promises a creative and delightful escape from difficulty, a caper through the Post-it Notes to innovative solutions. And it promises this as a service, delivered at what is often great cost — not just to IBM and Intuit and Starbucks, but to villages and nonprofit organizations and cities like Gainesville without enormous resources to spare.

Von @bumblblu kam auch die Inspiration fuer die Artikelueberschrift: Design Thinking, Zettelkleben und Co. sind zu einem „design industrial complex“ geworden. Oder wie es @lorz in anderem Kontext ausdrueckte: „ahnungsloser regierungsnaher Kluengel“.

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