Understanding Is a Design Problem: Cognizing from a Designerly Thinking Perspective

Paper by Michael Lissack: “Understanding and cognition are traditionally viewed as philosophical and scientific issues where there is little room for contribution from the design community. This article proposes a radically different approach based on the observation that we live in a world that is more complex than our minds/brains possess the ability to process in its entirety. Our limited equipment forces us to deal with only selected aspects of any given piece of that complex world at each instant. Selection—be it conscious or unconscious—involves agency and choice. Design and design thinking scholars have much to say about how agency and choice can be impacted by still other choices—context, symbols, movement, audience, and so on. Suppose cognition and meaning making were re-cast as design processes? This would highlight the role played by cybernetics—the science of how we learn how to steer—in shaping how we cognitively deal with the world. Together design and cybernetics have much to offer the cognitive sciences….(More)”