The Design-Decision Theory

To design is to choose and decide. It’s fundamental to work in other professions, but that’s where the similarities end. In design, unique influences act upon the mechanisms for choosing from alternatives and the making of decisions. These mechanisms haven’t a home in the voluminous writings on formulaic decision-making, nor will these words likely be mistaken for a scholarly work. Why? Because decision theory in design has an X-factor about it. It’s called design thinking. Ask Duff Goldman, the famed cake-making chef extraordinaire, entrepreneur of Charm City Cakes fame and celebrity judge on the Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championships.” At a book signing a few years ago, he related a story about design thinking versus conventional business thinking. “Give a problem to 20 MBAs,” Mr. Goldman said, “and you’ll get the same solution 20 times.” Then he said, “But, give a problem to 20 designers, and you’ll get 20 different …