“Mind the Oddness Trap!” - Theory and Practice in Design Thinking
In design thinking, theory and practice are closely interconnected. The theory serves as a blueprint, guiding companies in general and design teams in particular through the design process. Given such a close interrelation of theory and practice, we argue that design thinking research needs to be set up in a particular way too. It should help to test and refine theory and serve as “dialogue facilitators,” aiding the community of design thinkers to intensify their “dialogue” with empirical reality. To provide reliable data on issues of central concern, we have tested experimentally two widely held convictions in the field of design thinking: (1) Multidisciplinary teams produce more innovate design solutions than monodisciplinary teams. (2) Teams trained in design thinking (e.g. at D-Schools or in art curricula) produce more innovative solutions than untrained teams. Thus, hotspots have been identified that may stimulate some productive refinements of design thinking theory.