Paradoxes in design thinking

Paul A. Rodgers, Giovanni Innella, Craig Bremner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a critical examination of the current state of design by exploring a number of paradoxes – sustaining the unsustainable, disciplining the undisciplined, reconciling future visions with harsh realities, and others. We suggest that whilst design researchers have been probing design, it is highly likely design might never have been where they were looking. Consequently, this paper presents a 6 point manifesto for design research where the emphasis is on acknowledging our material and energy flows and their environmental impact, a more critical stance in design culture that will reveal contradictions, rock the boat, critique 'what is' to 'what could be', and contest the legitimisation of power. Moreover, design must strive to maintain care for details and quality of public service in everything we do whilst having a concern for otherness and visuality, which privileges thinking in terms of images over numbers and texts, and an interest in theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S4444-S4458
Number of pages15
JournalDesign Journal
Issue numberSup. 1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017


  • reversification
  • design research
  • paradoxes
  • not knowing


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