Advancing Design Thinking Towards a Better Understanding of Self and Others

  • Meredith James Portland State University
Keywords: design thinking, self awareness, context, design ethics, design pedagogy


In teaching Design Thinking, two key aspects of the discipline continue to emerge: design's move away from materialism; and augmenting better problem-solving skills through self-awareness. The first anchors design in a process rather than a product, something that is native to the concept of Design Thinking. Whereas the second, anchors the designer (the problem-solver, or change agent) within a context. Designers who have a strong understanding of themselves, their own roles in problem-solving, and which perspective within the larger context they inhabit, are better equipped to understand the nuances and difficulties of solving problems for others.

Author Biography

Meredith James, Portland State University
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design School of Art + Design