When I prototype and brainstorm as an engineer, I constantly think in constraints. That can’t be done because the technology isn’t available. This part should be simplified so that I have less to build in CAD and the machine will print it out neater. This unit shouldn’t be made airtight because the costs to do so outweigh the benefit.
So, on the one hand, I’ve enjoyed design thinking in its potential to get me to think outside the box of ‘what is feasible’ and simply enjoy the process of being creative with others. Prototyping feels like being a kid again – giving us the magical authority to transform play-doh into an immersive gaming experience simply because I say so.
This process of design thinking privileges the imaginative over the technical – and assumes that the technical can always be implemented or invented if need be. You can’t develop something if it hasn’t been imagined first, right? But on the flip side, I wonder if this approach also presents the limitation of sometimes operating outside of reality. It is only those with unlimited resources (e.g. the human/time/money to develop a new material, or the latest equipment that allows for fuller capabilities), who can assume that the only limitation is your imagination. If the value of prototyping lies in the ability to turn “ideas into transformative agency,” as suggested by the reading, then design thinking must also recognize its inherent belief that any good idea is a technologically sound and feasible one.