Response_The Alternating Current of the Design Process
Discussing the genesis of design thought has never seemed quite so complicated to me. I say this half jokingly, but also from a standpoint that I have merely never placed any appreciable amount of thought into this subject. John T. Lyle’s The Alternating Current of the Design Process, much akin to Nigel Cross’ Design Thinking, sets out to further investigate this idea. He presents the processes of right vs left brain action, how they influence the roles of intuitive and practical thought, and how these forces should be brought into balance. Balance within this spectrum of complete creative vs determined practicality is where I often find trouble; the urge to remain on one end of the spectrum over the other is always strong and often more convenient.
Lyle goes further to say explain that what makes understanding the design process so difficult is that many designers misunderstand their own design process, claiming a design to consist of equal parts practicality and essentially higher-level magic. As a personal explanation, I see the design process not as a specific moment in time, but rather an ongoing collection of mental material that can be used later. Of the several items that I am trying not to forget about the ARCH Summer Session, the phrase ‘everything is process’ holds fast. And while not every situation has to/can be viewed as useful process, the fact remains that any and every experience a designer possesses holds a certain amount of weight upon his/her design process. I think that this serves as at least a partial response to the question of where intuitive design emanates. Design, therefore, is a collaborative montage of the design process.