Conditions that Foster an Ability to Reframe Problems

Format: Papers, RSD4, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Author: Patrick Suen

What do a former Olympic risk planner, an ecological restorer, a professional dancer, and a neuropsychologist have in common? They’ve all found ways to apply Design practices and principles to manage complex scenarios in a world that’s ambiguous and ever-changing. While typical problem solving approaches consist of a systematized set of methods and tools that must be applied in sequence, the individuals mentioned above have learned to leverage their personal experiences, values, and perspectives to create an approach that is rigorous yet flexible, and constantly being evaluated and updated. A key outcome is the ability to reframe problems in a way that uncovers deep and meaningful insights –ultimately leading to innovative solutions.In this study, 19 individuals were interviewed for their personal experiences and thoughts on their reframing process and key characteristics that enable them to reframe for innovation. In sharing their experiences and personal stories, the interviews became almost like a facilitated personal reflection exercise. Traits that are intrinsic and automatic were revealed to have deeply rooted origins in childhood activities, parental guidance, community upbringing, education, and work experience.

Citation Data

Author(s): SEPTEMBER 2015
Title: Conditions that Foster an Ability to Reframe Problems
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 28 July 2015
Last update:
Publisher Identification:

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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