Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 83: Post-Its and Blocks

Michael and Jessica talk about the latest flare-up in the Design Thinking wars, beginning with Lee Vinsel’s article There’s So Little There There: A Response to the Stanford d.school’s Defense of Design Thinking. Jessica agrees with Vinsel that there is an “Emperor’s New Clothes” quality to design thinking:

He’s basically coming back to language, simplicity, clarity, honesty… Design Thinking, how dare it coopt language that speaks for us all? How dare it say that, in order to be empathetic, in order to be empathize, you have to follow this quid pro quo process.

Michael says that

It’s tempting and fun to piss all over design thinking, but I know a lot of smart effective designers, not just well-intentioned but actually really successful professionals, who take design thinking really seriously.

Also mentioned this week:

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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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