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The Four Fundamental Principles of Design Thinking

A design is basically a blueprint or plan for the fabrication of an object or machine, or for the successful implementation of an action or procedure, or the end product of that plan or blueprint in the shape of a physical product, machine or process. The verb to design actually describes the act of creating a design. As used in the context of art, the term design can refer to the creation of artistic works ranging from paintings and sculptures to computer-generated images and interactive learning environments. In science, the term design can refer to the systematic arrangement of physical objects. Design in engineering generally refers to the systematic arrangement of mechanical parts in order to provide the most efficient performance. Design in architecture refers to the creative planning and designing of buildings, dwellings and other structures.


In the case of large-scale business enterprises, the designing process may involve hiring an outside firm to manage the project while incorporating the design thinking process into its overall planning and execution. This approach has been found to be more effective than using the standard “one-size-fits-all” methodology. The advantages of incorporating design thinking techniques into the overall business process include: faster execution, increased profitability, greater flexibility and control, and less dependence on external consultants and subcontractors. The four principles of design thinking are:

In the case of the design thinking process and prototyping, the process involves the development of initial ideas and designs, through the formulation and implementation of those designs in real-life conditions. The idea then travels from the designer’s mind to the real-world user, who in turn must provide feedback to make the design useful and enjoyable. The prototyping stage is typically done on smaller levels of development, such as simple designs or simple machines. Designers may then work on implementing those designs in production environments. However, the Four Principles of Design Thinking suggest that there are many potential solutions to the problems of designing and prototyping: A variety of approaches, the inclusion of varying amounts of input from a wide variety of sources, and the possibility for real-time creative interaction.

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