Frame Innovation (Create New Thinking by Design), Kees Dorst
My first year or two at school, the idea of design thinking was something that seemed to be pretty exciting. We would talk about why we liked design, how we wanted to be "problem solvers". Lots has been said and written in backlash to this idea that design thinking is the key to the gates for businesses to innovate and make money—mostly centering around how it is bullshit or a failed experiment.
With that in mind, it's totally fair to look at the title of this and see a book based on the derided term "design thinking" or how/why a few organizations were able to do well in certain situations. Dorst uses examples from around the world to explore core-components and fundamental building-blocks to creating and carrying out in-depth analysis of stakeholders and situations in order to create appropriate responses to environmental, social and business problems.
The book is great for those interested in system design and design research, as it bluntly lays out the process one must achieve to really create a solution which can respond to multiple stakeholders and situations. Dorst also makes an interesting choice to stratify designers in this field into differing levels of success in their quality of assessment and explains the steps they go through in order to be able to apply their level of ability and knowledge to the context they are able to gain. The main reason I really dig this book, is that it actually goes through and explains the easy and hard ways to do this kind of design resolution (I say easy and hard instead of right and wrong as it comes down to context of situations). This is evident in the discussion around finding solutions through framing, when using a simple formula (which we all unconsciously use), "what" + "how" leads to "outcome". The depth and complexity of the solution comes from the depth and complexity of the understanding of the question. I have to say, I'm a sucker for the academic design stuff like this.