Deconstructing the Design Process: Past, Present and Potential Futures


This paper examines the history and evolution of ‘the design process’ including an assessment of its modernist underpinnings and an investigation into the impact of the Design Methods and Design Thinking movements. Such investigations will provide an explanation of how the design process developed and the ways in which it impacts contemporary practices and pedagogies, including an assessment of how design projects can be both informed by and influence the design process through the examination of interactions between the two. Based on a literature review and findings from an international qualitative research study (conducted by the author, working with interior architecture and design students, educators and practitioners in Toronto, New York, London, Glasgow and Berlin between Sept 2019 and March 2020), this study also introduces new design process diagrams that offer a wider range of potential approaches to the generation of creative projects. The aim of such frameworks is to promote a greater acceptance of diverse, nuanced and personal approaches to the act of designing beyond existing paradigms.


Natalie Badenduck
Associate Professor, Interior Design, Mount Royal University, Alberta, Canada


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—New Agendas for Design: Principles of Scale, Practices of Inclusion


Processes, Methodologies, Frameworks, Exploration, Inclusion, Diversity

Digital Media


Deconstructing the Design Process (pdf)