Looking at Divination as a Framework for Design Synthesis

By Richard Fry.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 22, 2016 $US5.00

Even with a growing number of data gathering tools available to designers, industrial design students often have difficulty with effectively shaping that data into an insightful framework that informs the rest of their design activities. A weakness in their ability to interpret, or being able to look at the gathered data through a particularly personal filter and extracting a unique sense of relevance that resonates with others, is a contributing factor. Looking at the concept of divination, defined as a “facilitated, tool-based forced reflection technique” rather than fortune telling, there are aspects of the divination process that may translate over to design synthesis activities that would improve students’ ability to interpret. Concepts such as cultural understanding, problem awareness, data simplification, recognizing and using appropriate questions, willingness to act, and simple narrative construction contribute to the ability to interpret in a divinatory setting and could potentially be used to increase the interpretive ability of industrial design student in a project setting.

Keywords: Synthesis, Divination, Interpretation

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 10, Issue 1, March, 2016, pp.13-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 554.108KB)).

Richard Fry

Director, School of Technology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UTAH, USA