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DT 2013 | Ariadne's Thread & Design Thinking As Deconstructive Thinking Process.

Posted on: 10 feb 2013

DT2013. Design Thinking is a creative process of thinking backwards from people, that leads to design a service, a product or else, based on the conclusions of the knowledge gathered in the process.

Expo."Hilo de Ariadna" Madrid. Foto © Francisco Posse

I  believe that all we need is out there. XXI Century Creativity is about being inspired by connections and passionate about following the threats. 

" must first pull itself together from the dispersion and disconnectedness of the very things that have come to pass..." 
"Being and Time" by Heidegger 
In my case, I have to admit that I have a thing with past centuries' philosophers, thinkers and artists. I love me when I find wisdom in the past that I can use to endorse my own theories. It's a personal tribute to those amazing individuals that dedicated their lives to "think about thinking" and developed theories about humanity and philosophy of existence. I admire them all: What a great capacity of abstraction, creativity and altruism!

 (Check out my post Design Thinking Attitude, and my theory based on Heidegger's  Thrownness concept).

The premise of my DT2013 Theory is that everything starts and ends with people. A human-centered shared vision.  

According with the logic of my experiences as a Design Thinking practitioner (including my life-design process), I believe that DT can be applied to any context or field of action and any personal quest. 

Design Thinking is an slippery term even for practitioners, so the challenge is to find a way to express and share meaning with anyone interested in the subject.


Ariadne's thread Theory and Design Thinking 
as a creative process of thinking backwards from people.

Please read the following text keeping in mind that the thread in the labyrinth is hold by one end by people, and the other end by a problem. And design thinkers are holding to that threat and walking from one side to the other, while they are analyzing, observing, exposing unquestioned assumptions and making sense of the pieces of informations found : A Deconstructive-Constructive Thinking Process that goes backwards from people to the problem or ideal situation and viceversa. 
This is a methodical and creative process able to take point by point a series of found truths and insights: While you are holding to the threat that keeps you focus.

Design Thinkers would solve the problem by designing new configurations or creating something entirely new as a result of combining those multiple elements and meaning found in the process.


Ariadne's thread, named for the legend of Ariadne, who gave Theseus the thread with which he found his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth, is also a logic back-tracking technique.

"Is the solving of a problem with multiple apparent means of proceeding - such as a physical maze, a logic puzzle, or an ethical dilemma - through an exhaustive application of logic to all available routes. It is the particular method used that is able to follow completely through to trace steps or take point by point a series of found truths in a contingent, ordered search that reaches a desired end position. This process can take the form of a mental record, a physical marking, or even a philosophical debate; it is the process itself that assumes the name.

The key element to applying Ariadne's thread to a problem is the creation and maintenance of a record - physical or otherwise - of the problem's available and exhausted options at all times. This record is referred to as the "thread", regardless of its actual medium. The purpose the record serves is to permit backtracking - that is, reversing earlier decisions and trying alternatives. Given the record, applying the algorithm is straightforward:

  • At any moment that there is a choice to be made, make one arbitrarily from those not already marked as failures, and follow it logically as far as possible.
  • If a contradiction results, back up to the last decision made, mark it as a failure, and try another decision at the same point. If no other options exist there, back up to the last place in the record that does, mark the failure at that level, and proceed onward."
 From Wikipedia

To be continue....

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