Essentially, design systems thinking is a method of problem solving. This quarter we learned that too often solutions are born from shallow thinking and that only a small aspect of the problem was addressed. Design systems thinking is a mindset that allows the designer to think of the big picture rather than the single problem. The reason it is essential to think this way is to avoid missing the real issue. You want to create something that will be sustainable. It reminds me of a conversation I had with Micah and Jordan where they were talking about the problem of Americans who go on mission trips abroad and they build churches in foreign countries but as soon as they leave, the churches they build so often are left unoccupied because there’s no one there/no resources to sustain it. I think it was Micah who brought up the point that if we really wanted to solve something, we should be spending money to provide jobs abroad rather than using it to send ourselves over so we can feel like we did a good deed. What I’m trying to get at is that you really have to think about the problem as a whole and really analyze all of the different angles.
Especially if you want to design for social change, you have to think deeply. I went on Aiga’s website and as I was browsing some case studies, this one in particular really stood out to me.
In this example, designers thought about a new approach to solving hunger and created a campaign to change the way we perceive charities and donating. Their idea was based off the notion that a lot of people felt that “nothing could end hunger” and as a result they decided to do a play on meaning and change that. What they really did, was essentially they made the problem the solution! They used their campaign to appeal to a younger audience and also to spread awareness, and according to the case study, the project was highly effective.