Is Design Thinking Dead?

During my research for the case study assignment in the course entitled Innovation, Design and Learning Environments, I came across an author and advocate of Design Thinking. Bruce Nussbaum, a prior writer for Business Week magazine, became renown for a speech given in New York City back in 2007. The speech entitled “Are Designers the Enemy of Design?” was later highlighted on the Business Week website, which provide many controversial contemporary views on design and designers. In the speech he “accused designers of being incapable of understanding that today they must design with people” (Binder & Ehn, 2014, p. 2). This gave him a spark of interest in Design Thinking.

Fast forward to 2011, Nussbaum is now found looking for the next big leap beyond Design Thinking. In an online article Nussbaum admits that “Design Thinking originally offered…a whole new process that promised to deliver creativity” (CO.Design, 2011, para 3). However in the article he now is looking towards the concept of Creative Intelligence (CQ). Nussbaum describes CQ as “the ability to frame problems in new ways and to make original solutions” (CO.Design, 2011, para 13). He compares CQ to intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ). Some people have a low, moderate or high level of CQ. However, no matter the level, CQ can be learned.

I recommend reviewing the article at it is an interesting read. See the CO.Design link below.

Binder, T., & Ehn, P. (2014). Design things. Retrieved from

CO.Design (May 4, 2011). Design Thinking Is A Failed Experiment. So What’s Next? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

One thought on “Is Design Thinking Dead?

  1. Hi Darin,

    Thank you for your post, I will definitely read the recommended article. It is an interesting concept.


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