Design Thinking Outside the Box

A design is basically a blueprint or specifications for the erection or construction of a certain object or machine, or the output of such construction, or the resultant of that blueprint or specifications in the form of a product, model or process. The verb to design normally expresses the whole process of creating a design. It is also related to the verb ‘to build’. The idea behind both is that some original structure or idea for the structure is sought by someone who is planning to build it, or else by an individual who has a specific idea of the kind of output that he desires to get out of building it. In technical usage, however, design means the process by which an idea is developed into a working model or prototype.


One of the important purposes of designers is to find original and innovative solutions to architectural problems that are often difficult to solve. Designers try to imagine and explain the solutions to such problems as clearly as possible and describe the technical and economic characteristics of these solutions. This is the third way of thinking, the second way of designing and the first way of conceptualizing. While the first way of design thinking explains the problem in a general way and suggests a generic solution, the second way of design thinking suggests a particular solution to the problem and leaves the details of implementation to the experts.

Designing is not just thinking outside the box. It is also doing something unique and creative. It is often referred to as being ‘innovative’ because it does not conform with known facts about the world and is usually considered as a challenge to our traditional and popular understandings of things. Designers often approach problems from a different perspective, making revolutionary new ways of looking at existing problems, opening up unknown vistas and filling lacunas in the process of problem-solving.