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Designers and paradoxical injunctions : How designerly ways of thinking are faced with contradiction

Abstract : In 1956, anthropologist Gregory Bateson developed the concept of “double bind” in order to explain the mechanisms of communication in schizophrenia, in which the individual must constantly deal with conflicting demands. This “Effort to Drive the Other Person Crazy”, as said psychoanalyst Harold Searles in 1959, is a particular way of thinking that can be called “paradoxical thinking”. Nowadays, in a changing world faced with global issues, everyone agrees on that Design has a major role to play in re-inventing the future. In such a context, designers from all countries are faced with a dramatic responsibility: they are expected to be able to solve all problems. This is why modern designerly ways of thinking tend to turn into a kind of creative “paradoxical thinking”. In this paper, we try to briefly describe three of those designerly paradoxical injunctions and try to focus on how, from a psychological point of view, thinking as a designer today is a true tightrope walking exercise.
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Contributor : Stéphane Vial <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 9:52:24 AM
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Stéphane Vial. Designers and paradoxical injunctions : How designerly ways of thinking are faced with contradiction. 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), Shibaura Institute of Technology, Aug 2013, Tokyo, Japan. ⟨hal-01169158⟩



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