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Research Rants

Ramblings of a Service Designer from the First Diamond

Research Rants is a blog I began writting in the second year of my Service Design masters course at the Royal College of Art. It’s a space where I unravel my feelings about design and the design process as it’s presented on our course: the tension between design a business tool and design as a mindset, a way of being in the world.

The subtitle of the blog references Ideo’s well known ‘Double Diamond’ model, also adopted by the UK’s Design Council, to illustrate the divergent and convergent thinking spaces of the process of design. Two diamond shaped spaces which both begin with a broad, divergent workflow, cressendo at a peak of activity, then narrow and converge back to a conclusion. The first diamond represents research, closing with a problem definition; the second diamond respresents idea generation, closing with a proposal. There are of course subsequent diamonds for further iteration once something is launched.

I’ve become increasingly aware that I’ve never felt that comfortable with the rigidity and rationality of the Double Diamond model, perhaps owing to my fine art beginnings and philosophical tendencies. I appreciate that it’s a useful model to explain the pragmatic logical design approach to solving problems, but it also infers a linar, contained approach. Therein lies the risk that design is treated as a siloed activity, seperate from the everyday, with a start and and end point. I believe design is just an approach to living - diamonds are everywhere, if we only take the time to open our eyes; we are all designers, we might just not realise it yet.