This fall, Jaime, our very own male, petite Colombian (his words not ours) made a presentation on superstructuralism, a topic that came out of a PhD seminar taught by Laura Forlano. It was further expanded in Stan Ruecker’s PhD seminar and then whittled down into 20 slides for NowHaus last year. Jaime learned this was probably not the best format for such a complex topic, but he did see that people were really interested in this idea so he presented the long-form version to the ID community.
Jaime took a point of view on how design fits within superstructuralism, the cyclical building and rejecting of methods to generate new knowledge. Being aware of the cycle allows us to have a better understanding about the future of design. This helps us look beyond the alarmist messages in media about the latest methods that deny traditional approaches.
As a takeaway, we can think about how to integrate latest and greatest methods while embracing the proven, traditional methods from various design disciplines.
The proven methods for design innovation could be easily confused as a recipe that everyone should follow step-by-step. This is a common problem in companies that try to generate a rigid structure, inside complex organizational systems where a few people are in charge of innovation and it is not a culture that has spread in the organization. Therefore, flexibility and critical thinking, in addition to fixed best practices, can open the options to permeate the tradition with alternative approaches in design that are more exploratory and can provide new possibilities.
If you want to learn more, ask Jaime what he thinks the next emphasis in design will be.
Hint: The next design standard may come from alternative and critical perspectives of user-centered design as we know it now.