Design Beyond Thinking
Disciplined Imagination

Foundations under development

Design Beyond Thinking

What is the design that lies beyond thinking?

The word “design” shares the Latin root “signum”, with the words “signify” and “significance”. The notions of “meaning” and “significance” highlight the fact that there is a human dimension to design, particularly in human activity and sociotechnical systems. This inherent human dimension demands a fine level of inquiry into and understanding of how a design artifact is perceived and is attributed meaning to, both by the users and the designers. 

To more deeply explore the human dimensions in design, we need to develop an understanding of how people perceive and respond to life circumstances, shedding light on some of the more substantive psychological aspects related to dispositions, motivations, and frustrations. Within any given customer persona, there may be a multitude of types of responses to life circumstances. To fully understand a socio-economic persona, we need to delve more deeply into who they are as individuals.

Disciplined Imagination

Are we restricting our creativity by keeping it within the confines of consciousness?

Through imagination we can make the invisible products and processes of our unconscious visible. We can form images of objects and situations that do not yet exist. Without imagination, there would be no creativity, no novelty and no innovation. Engaging imagination enables a dialogue between the world of ideas and images and the realm of our senses and experiences. This results in the creation of a vision of an ideal or a possibility towards which design can strive.

To access our imaginative potential, we need to establish ways of communicating with the unconscious parts of our psyche. This requires the letting go of our intellect and conscious thinking faculty to connect to the primordial and spontaneous psychic activities deep within us. Next is to seek expressions for the contents and potentialities inherent in these psychic energetic processes. This module will familiarize you with techniques from expressive arts and depth psychology that helps you in accessing and utilizing your imaginative potential for design.


Our Advanced Program in Systemic Design consists of 3 Foundations. Application is open for Module I of Foundation 1: Systems Thinking. Foundation 2 & 3, ‘Design Beyond Thinking’ and “Disciplined Imagination are under development. Pre-register below, to be among the first ones to hear when modules launch.

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