Design Thinking in Australia - Barriers and Opportunities

Design Thinking in Australia - Barriers and Opportunities

Increased interest in and adoption of design thinking by governments, nonprofits, and commercial businesses has led to further research and discussion of the benefits of design thinking for business, design, and governments. There is a little country-specific literature in Australia regarding the ways in which design thinking is engaged by design and business.


Definition and understanding of design thinking – No clear definition of what design thinking is has been established. The problem is the difference in languages of business and design and the work contexts in which design thinking is discussed.

Business perceptions of design – Design is often perceived as a high-risk activity or an artistic pursuit linked to creating a tangible product or output. The strategic engagement of design thinking to delivering outcomes related to more holistic business challenges is not well understood.

The ‘hybrid’ space – the expectations of design thinking are different from business expectations to design expectations. Businesses are not necessarily seeking design thinking from designers, and the design industry’s agenda does not necessarily align to that of business. There is no hybrid space where design thinking is discussed by both parties at equal level.

The traditional Australian business environment – Australian economy faces various problems of high Australian dollar, slump in manufacturing, limited investment in innovation. Australian businesses still rely heavily on older methods to solve business challenges rather than seeking to blend traditional practices with new approaches. Design thinking is often rejected as a risky approach to solving business problems, one that cannot guarantee a positive result.

Some experience necessary – the barrier to design thinking in Australia is the lack of expertise in this area. There is a lack of supply of people who can confidently deliver design thinking. Design schools focus on developing specialised...

Similar Essays