Looking for Change by Design

The following design brief has been prepared for #INF536 following a series of observations recorded at a local health and fitness business.  These are my observations and do not reflect the thoughts of the business observed. 

Design Brief 2


Design Brief 2


Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2011). Change by Design. Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 28(3), 381-383.

McGregor, E. (2014) Design thinking Process. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://digital.csu.edu.au/inf536/module-3-studio-teaching-and-space-design/3-5-design-thinking-process/

Comments on other blogs:

Jim Thomas

Greg Miller

 Graham Clark




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  1. My reflections: This brief didn’t quite work out how I wanted. As we have discovered there is no set formula for writing a design brief and perhaps historically they are not very powerful documents. I would re-write this brief more in the vain as that presented by Greg Miller. Well structured and supported by published literature. However, part of this process is discovering some unknowns – which I think I managed to do.

  2. Hi Simon,

    Interesting brief and reflection. I like that every brief I have read has been different- there are no two the same which I think is a testament to this whole assignment- like Ewan suggested- reimagining the design brief…

    Interesting that you said your brief could be more like Greg’s..while he did use the literature extremely well, I left a comment for him suggesting that maybe it wasn’t open enough- it may not have left enough scope for the designer…only my perspective though.

    I like how you integrated challenge questions throughout your brief…creating different areas for the designer to consider…


  3. You have articulated the problem very nicely – it enabled me to imagine what the experience would be like. I agree that it is important for the business to promote interaction amongst customers (should they wish interact) in order to build a community feel. I’m sure there would be a great range of responses from customers.

  4. Hello Simon,

    I actually like this brief. Whilst you noted mine to be more ‘structured’ I do like that yours is a little more ‘open ended’. I really like the number of questions you frame as you go. I do like the use of references only because it will challenge architects in future conversations. When have you seen an architect use references when developing plans for space in your school, any school for that matter?

    As Bec has written here, maybe mine wasn’t open enough to leave enough scope for the designer. maybe I was seeing myself as the Designer, and that’s the problem!!!!!

    I suppose I am seeing the Design Brief as a starting point before the best actions and the right people become more and more involved. I think the actions you take and the people you consult is the real strength of the design thinking process. The more purposeful the actions and the more skillful the people, the more “unknown unknowns” will be seen in the end product??? I am not sure. The more unknown unknowns, the better the space will be for its users?????? As for prototyping…. I have absolutely no idea.

    One last thought….. In your main question, what is meant by “move forward” and “richer experience”?

    Thanks for the read and provoking my thoughts into this comment.


  5. Hi Greg. Thanks for the feedback. Initially I was seeing myself as the designer but then it clicked the role of the Design Brief was not to solve the problems that we were identifying. This I began, to view the design brief as a starting point. Thereafter any Design Thinking becomes very much a collaborative approach. Hatchuel talks about “clarifying tasks and teamworking in upstream or innovative design phases.” In my mind the design brief is the ignition for beginning a design phase … and exploration of discovery.
    As for prototyping, according to C-K theory this is where concepts are experimented with to develop new knowledge … knowledge is expanded. See Hatchuels design square. Somewhere in my notes I have written “a voyage of observation, empathy and discovery.”
    With regard to my wording ‘move forward’ this is indeed vague (ambiguous). Perhaps I should have said “develop” As for the phrase ‘richer experience’ I used this deliberately (also vague) thinking that designers and other key stakeholders could interpret this in many different ways. As we have learnt the tension of a design brief is specificity but also flexibility to allow for creativity.

    Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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