Design Listening: what designers hear and how they respond

Justine Carrion-Weiss*, Mark Bailey, Nick Spencer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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This paper develops understanding about the practices of design facilitators during rapid design-led interventions and proposes Design Listening as a new phenomenon in design-led innovation practice. Analysis of evidence from an on-going doctoral study exploring value creation in rapid design-led interventions leads to a contribution to knowledge about Design Listening as a facilitatory and collaborative action. This study draws on data generated over a one-year period and uses constructivist grounded theory. The findings suggest that design facilitators simultaneously absorb and construct knowledge. The paper presents the Design Listening phenomenon and discusses this in the context of reflective practice. Data suggests that Design Listening allows design facilitators to respond to what they hear in three different ways; they challenge; they probe; they shape. The action of listening and the response it generates form the basis of the phenomenon presented in this paper. The paper concludes that a distinctive characteristic of this practice is that, in discursive workshop settings, reflective practices between participants are interconnected and that skillful practice is demonstrated by the depth of this connection evidenced by a mutual grasp of the design situation and its future possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 9th Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR 2021)
EditorsGerhard Bruyns, Huaxin Wei
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789811944727
ISBN (Print)9789811944710
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022
EventInternational Association of Societies of Design Research: With Design:Reinventing Design Modes - Hong Kong Poly University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 5 Dec 20219 Dec 2021


ConferenceInternational Association of Societies of Design Research
Abbreviated titleIASDR 2021
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Internet address


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