What is Design Thinking? Design Thinking in lighting
Design is undergoing a revolution. The following changes put users in the first place, their specific needs, requiring an unconventional approach to solving the problem. The Design Thinking method, because it is responsible for this comprehensive view, introduces designers at the level of the idea itself, who create projects based on an in-depth interview and a creative approach. All this to adapt places and products to our lifestyle.
Design Thinking - from the user's needs
Design Thinking is the idea of creating new projects and services respecting the needs and problems of users. Thanks to this approach, we focus not only on the product but also on solutions that approach the topic holistically and search for the most optimal paths that implement the adopted plans. The method has three main goals:
- a thorough understanding of the needs of use, even the least important or unaware ones
- looking at the topic from different perspectives, looking for new, unique solutions, especially those that are not associated with the topic of the work
- prototyping in consultation with the user.
The purpose of such activity is to create a design that the user will be satisfied with, will serve him for many years, and meet all needs. It must also be technologically feasible and financially viable.
The cradle of Design Thinking
Where and from what need was this Design Thinking method born? We have to move to the 80s and 90s, sunny California, where creative ideas collided with the Silicon Valley environment. One of the founding fathers of this innovative approach to creation was David M Kelley, a professor at Stanford University. It was born on the basis of our own experience of cooperation with a client who came to the office with ready ideas, expecting only to design a nice housing. At this late stage, there were groundbreaking initiatives on the part of the designer, which, however, could no longer be implemented. Hence, David M Kelley took the initiative to engage designers from the initial stage, at the concept stage.
- Empathy - the key at this stage is to understand the user's motivations and problems. Environmental analysis or ethnographic interviews can be used for this purpose. Remember to conduct observations discreetly, users are often unaware of their habits that improve their work.
- Defining - at this stage, the information gathered from the first stage is summarized and the definition of the actual problem is determined. This is a very difficult challenge, too quick definition of the topic may narrow the field of activity, and too long may entail additional costs.
- Generating ideas - this activity requires an unconventional approach to the topic. In addition to substantive knowledge and experience, creativity and the lack of inhibitions against constructive critics of ideas will also work here. Completing the stage means selecting the best design that will form the basis for a prototype.
- Building prototypes - creating a physical model does not involve creating a product similar to the end result. The most important thing is that the idea behind it is communicated to the user who will be able to relate to the idea and propose possible solutions.
- Testing - the time when we test our ideas in the user environment is the stage of involving many parties: administrative, legal or technical. Only on its basis can we determine whether a given service is ready for final implementation
What do we gain?
Design Thinking aims to introduce innovative, non-standard solutions that meet the needs of users and places with problems that do not have an obvious solution. Behind their recognition is a deep commitment and a comprehensive approach on many levels, including psychology, sociology, economics, ecology and technology.
Where will it be used?
How Design Thinking works and what application it finds in the environment is best presented on the example of an office.
This place gathers a lot of users who do all kinds of jobs, each in a different way. This space should not only look designer, but also respond to the needs of employees, adapt to the activities they perform, represent the company and present its values. The subject must be approached interdisciplinary and interviewed at all levels of the organization, each comment and opinion in this case is valuable and can lead to a successful end result. First of all, it's important to remember that each office works differently.
You can create an ideal space in many respects, which, however, is not used by employees. The failure of a project may not be due to technical or design issues, but e.g. cultural issues. In a system of hierarchical and controlling work, where there is still a belief to see the employee, creating closed work zones may turn out to be a bad solution.
A functional office is not only about well-chosen furniture. The well-being of employees is influenced by many factors, e.g. lighting, air quality, appropriate temperature. They also pay a lot of attention to greenery, places to relax, bicycle stands - when designing an office you really need to approach it holistically.
Creating good lighting solutions requires not only understanding the space, but also the user's needs. Properly designed luminaires affect their well-being and work comfort. Providing a light source that will adapt to the human biorhythm is the most optimal solution currently available on the market. Changing the power or color temperature depending on the specific needs of a person, time of day or year leads to the creation of an individual lighting scenario that changes smoothly.