Unveiling the Construct of Design Thinking: An Exploratory Study

DS 116: Proceedings of the DESIGN2022 17th International Design Conference

Year: 2022
Editor: Mario Štorga, Stanko Škec, Tomislav Martinec, Dorian Marjanović
Author: Mariana Oliveira, Eduardo Zancul
Series: DESIGN
Institution: University of S
Section: Design Theory and Research Methods
Page(s): 41-50
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2022.5
ISSN: 2732-527X (Online)


Design thinking does not have a consensually defined construct in the academic literature. This foundational fragility hinders theory building in the field. This study addresses this gap by providing a construct of design thinking following guidelines for developing theory-building instruments. We propose a non-normative, comprehensive construct composed of a conceptual definition and a subset of properties that portray tangible design thinking expressions. The proposed construct aims to provide a grounded foundation to support the advancement of design thinking theory building and testing.

Keywords: design thinking, construct, theory building, design theory, human-centred design

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