From the Design Public Glossary…

For our last Design Public conference, we put together a glossary of design terms (pdf) to help out attendees who didn’t have a background in design.

We had a really good time writing our definitions and putting together excerpts from some of our favorite thinkers, so we thought we’d share some of them on our blog.

Here’s a couple now, and we’ll be posting more in the near future:

“Experience is limited by all the causes which interfere with perception of the relations between undergoing and doing. There may be interference because of excess on the side of doing or of excess on the side of receptivity, of undergoing. Unbalance on either side blurs the perception of relations and leaves the experience partial and distorted, with scant or false meaning. Zeal for doing, lust for action, leaves many a person especially in this hurried and impatient human environment in which we live, with experience of an almost incredible paucity, all on the surface. No one experience has a chance to complete itself because something else is entered upon so speedily. What is called experience becomes so dispersed and miscellaneous as hardly to deserve the name. Resistance is treated as an obstruction to be beaten down, not as an invitation to reflection. An individual comes to seek, unconsciously even more than by deliberate choice, situations in which he can do the most things in the shortest time.”
–Dewey, John. Art as Experience. New York: Balch & Minton, 1934.

1. Bringing newness into the world; making and remaking the world anew.
2. The transformation of insight into actionable knowledge that can make new use of the social and material technologies already available in the world.

Wicked Problem
1. A subclass of problems for which there is no ready-to-hand or off-the-shelf solution, but which can only be addressed through Design (with a capital “D‟).
2. All complex problems of state and society in which different stakeholders have
radically different world views and divergent frames for understanding the problem,
which moreover, may change over time.
3. Problems which have no definitive formulation, owing to which the definition of the problem turns out to be a Wicked Problem.


  1. wicked problem..sounds so Bostonian 🙂

  2. So how’re these three related then?

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