What process do you use to derive your own design process?

My question is simply, what process do you use to come up with your own unique design process? Should you try someone elses or cut and paste or something completely different? I would love to hear anyones ideas and thoughts on this topic. Thanks for you help.


everybody has a personal way of dealing with the design process. there’s no standard way. but in the schools they teach a standard way of dealing with design which is mainly a concept to product process. so basically you have to provide a solution fror a problem. if the problem already been solved then it becomes a matter of style, brand economy, environment, usage, etc. once you have identified a restriction or constraint, then you are able to focus on the project. for instance if you have to design a plastic container to be used for fishing equipment then you go and research that area. if you go and design it based on a lunch box then you’re not a good designer, although a lot of companies do that to expand their product range and promote their brand, but that’s not industrial design.

When you say “your own unique” I suppose you’re refering to the expression of ones self, and everybody is unique to his/her own extent. So I’de say imagination is one way that works for every one, and still shows the unique part of every one whos using it, imagination is something you can practice and build-up on, just like anything else can be built up on and improved.

one thing i know works well for me is looking at other cultures besides your own…a lot of times problems have been solved in objects used by people belonging to other cultures…either in the present or the past…besides that i have really got hooked onto, and found tons of inspiration from the HGTV channel…hehe… now that i get free cable…! its insiring to watch professionals at work while working on your own homework…besides that there are tons of product/transportation based shows on tv…

Well at first I had my own idea of process…then my professors corrected me.

Then I had another idea of process…then my boss corrected me.

what did I learn…

my professors could spend ten weeks studying how a person uses a thumb tack


that my boss is an absolute idiot

So basicly no one corrected you, unless you asked them to, they just doubt their own process and trying to grasp on that opportunity to reassure them selves that they’re on the right track.

seems like no one is answering your question directly.

my process is the lazy dude’s way.
don’t think about it, go out, eat, chill and laugh with your friends, let it
marinate in your subconcious and then wait til the last day when you’re really motivated to actually be productive, and get desperate, like its your final final hour and do whatever it takes to make the deadline.

if you’ve always been good, then your work will be good, even if its done last minute. if you’re mediocre, its the same thing.

you can sketch like that too to generate ideas. randomly draw whatever the fuck you see (excuse the language) and go back to pull whatever product you’re trying to develop. don’t be so concious about it… get loose.

and my biggest no-no is looking into ‘design’ books for inspiration. you’re a creative person, so get creative… don’t go for those typical things to spark your creativity, do something else. have fun. find your own weird way.

…two books: the art of innovation and roi; retun on innovation will give you some insight in the processes of others…try what has worked for others and keep what works for you…

God himself handed me my process!

researched a lot on the internet. Asked my colleagues what worked for them . Adapted research methodologies that I thought might be interesting. Read a lot. Got gnomon DVDs and got tips on sketching. The forums on CDN, core and Productdesignforums are pretty helpful- especially with the nitty gritty of form development. IDSA events can on rare ocassion be helpful.

My process is in not exactly in flux, but it proceeds in fits and starts. I generally marinate for a while and then BOOM- skills go up a notch after implementation of the things I read about.

But you really need to DO. This is 100 times as potent as all the books you will ever read.

My process changes kinda depending on the assignment. More assignments for class require me to do more research for my design-(exp. I am doing a logo /corp. identity package for a neighborhood restaurant for class-have to research that location-the people that eat/ use the place-location in its surroundings-and of what country adn culture does it come from-and so all this i researched so that I would come up with a solution taht would best fit and wouldnt be stereotypical)

for my shoe designs-I first explore my interests and do what I want-really try to take it in a funky direction-and then usually gets watered down to what we actually need. for work I will be usually be given an idea or concept from the creative directors and I look at more what is my target market and what they are purchasing and seeing what is in the market now-i am given trend book at work ( am to follow trends but can be creative within that-TRY to be-sometimes politcis wins) I try to really explore more in my shoe design-but alot of times because of time restrains and how a particular comapny production works you are forced to work and produce at a quick pace and there for you feed off of stuff you experienced 3 mins ago on the way to work or 10 yrs ago at a summer league basketball camp, so you are searching for inspirations.

++ i get inspired by archetecture and nature most of the time for my designs. ( i know both are pretty broad-but within those is my fountain of ideas start from)

on most projects I get a first initial idea(s) this is normaly not a final idea but a starting point. I also calculate a time tabel in my head up how I will break down the time for work and how long it will take to complete each stage of the process-ideas-sketching-rendering(if needed)-1st presentation of ideas-work over-work off of critique comments and revise-then finalize (some times a crit. isnt possible-but strobgly suggest showing your work getting anothers opions can really shed light onto a problem you might not have seen.)

I need to do this mental time table because trying to juggle alot of shyt.

as you see 4 am now-eating mexican and working on some uppers for a presentation for thursday.

all apart of your process- each different for each other