Rethinking Theory as Visualized Scenarios and Case Studies
Kevin Henry, IDSA | Columbia College, Chicago
Theory in many disciplines is a seemingly invisible force that guides decision making in complex situations and is based on one’s ability to grasp, digest, and internalize ideas into a structured and synchronous belief system. While the public is quick to recognize and celebrate the haptic side of the industrial design profession (sketching, rendering, and form giving) as the ultimate sign of creativity, they often fail to realize that it remains subservient to critical thinking. And while the fruit of those hard skills may be most noticeable in the final product, without the soft skills, the product or service would be a shallow exercise in styling. Teaching the soft skills in a visualized format similar to the way hard skills are taught could help bridge the two skill sets in many different ways. By teaching both sets of skills in a more visually focused manner, the student can connect them together as well as recall them faster. This paper explores the development of an interactive document intended to visualize theory through visual scenarios and case studies specific to product design.