Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Note: Donald Schon "Beyond the Stable State"

In 1971 Donald Schon published his book "Beyond the Stable State". Schon has since then been recognized as an impressive thinker in many different disciplines. His fame and reputation are based on some amazing books that still are read and frequently referenced. However, the "Stable State" is usually not among them. Recently I had the pleasure of re-reading some parts of the it.

As often when you go back to something you read a long time ago, you are intrigued by other parts of the text, other ideas stand out. Ideas that you do not remember being in the book. I must admit that "Beyond the Stable State" is one of the books that has had the most influence on me over the years. To me, the message condensed in the title is enough, and is an example of a great idea. 

Anyway, in re-reading parts of the book I realized that the last chapter contains a description of a form of research methodology or learning strategy that is resonating with my own thinking. The notions of "existential knowledge" and "projective models" are absolutely fascinating. Schon provides a clear and wonderful explanation of how to understand "case" studies, especially when the reason is to prepare for action. Schon's theory on how to approach "social change" is absolutely perfect for any professional working in any kind of design. Read the last chapter!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Manuscript of 2nd Edition of the Design Way sent

Yesterday Harold Nelson and I sent the final manuscript of the 2nd Edition of "The Design Way" to MIT Press. The book has gone through quite a lot of changes. Every chapter is edited and refined. Two chapter are fully re-written. One chapter is gone and two new chapters have been added. Hopefully these changes have improved the book... Anyhow it feels good to have sent it. It was a lot of work. The book will not be out until sometime late next year, it is a long production process. It also feels great that this time the book will be published by a wonderful publisher, which will mean that the book will be available in a completely different way and also to much lower cost.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Studying Interaction Designers and their methods

A few days ago, Marty Siegel and I got the final message that our NSF proposal has been approved and that the 3 year project is good to go. The project is called "Design Methods--how they are understood, selected and used by practitioners".

The project is based on the assumption that any work devoted to the development and creation of new design methods (which we define in the broadest possible sense, everything from pen & paper to theories) has to be grounded in a deep understanding of design practice.

If you are doing research on design practice and the use of tools and methods, I would be happy to hear from you.

If you are a practitioner that has ideas, reflections, and thoughts about this topic, you can write to me.

More on this later...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Organizational Design Competence II

We are getting some great feedback on our Organizational Design Competence (ODC). We even get some nice comments on our ODC website which is still quite small, but it will soon grow. ODC is now on Facebook too, which might be a good way to keep in touch if you are interested.

If you have comments, questions, or want to inquire about collaborations about education or consulting, just let us know.

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