Andy Polaine
Andy Polaine
Dec 5, 2008 2 min read

How do you design?


Hugh Dubberly from Dubberly Design Studios is writing a book called How Do You Design?, which examines design processes that they have collected over the years. The premise is that, “Everyone designs. The teacher arranging desks for a discussion. The entrepreneur planning a business. The team building a rocket.”

Like everything good online, the book is in “Beta” and you can not only download a PDF for free, but you can also add to the book by submitting your own processes or others that you have found.

There are some entertaining ones, like Nathan Felde’s application of AIGA’s 12-step model to the invasion of Iraq:


And Harold Kerzner’s variant of a process seen on the wall of the Greater London Council Architects Department in 1978:

  1. Project Initiaton
  2. Wild Enthusiasm
  3. Disillusionment
  4. Chaos
  5. Search for the Guilty
  6. Punishment of the Innocent
  7. Promotion of Non-Participants
  8. Definition of Requirements

There are plenty of more in-depth and serious ones though. I have really only had a skim through, so this is not a proper review, but almost all the processes boil down to variants on “Think, make, evolve” and many designers will know and have used plenty of them. There will be a few pleasant surprises, nonetheless, although I wasn’t surprised to learn that Richard Buchannan has a PhD in rhetoric – I’ve sat through a few of his keynotes.

Still, it’s a great collection for those interested in process and we can all help Hugh make the book even better by adding our own.

(Thanks to the IxDA list posters for the heads up on this).