Designing is not problem solving

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Designing isn't problem-solving.

Lots of people will agree with the statement “Designing is a kind of problem-solving.”  But I disagree, especially in light of how we typically think of problems in everyday life.  Problems are human constructs – nature has no problems.  Psychologists may have a more sophisticated way of thinking about problem-solving, but, in my experience, most designers and the average “man on the street” are not up to their level.  In any case, my interest is in how designers treat problem-solving in their everyday activities.  In this post, I’ll explain why I think that designing should definitely not be thought of as problem-solving.

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