Critical Design Thinking

As a designer we can have a huge influence on our surrounding. We have a power to raise awareness and even change people’s lives for better. Design is not just about creating something useful or pretty looking but about being innovative and challenging people on every level. It is crucial to be able to communicate with the world around us, your art may be personal but it’s important to find a way to engage people in it. You can have a great impact on people without even realising.


Expressing your views and opinions through your art is important, being aware of what is currently going on around us is a must. Don’t just sit back and look but get involved with your opinions, reflections and feelings.

Artists communicate through visual language that shouldn’t just trigger your vision. It should trigger but your brain too in order to reflect, analyse and be able to express your views on particular matter.  Having a talent is not enough, it’s how you use it. Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, aka Zunar, who won the 2016 Cartooning for Peace Prize said: “Talent is not a gift but a responsibility”

Let me introduce you to the six pillars of design philosophy.

  • aesthetics
  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • logic
  • metaphysics
  • politics

Before you design your piece of art is always best to brainstorm. You may be surprised what you can come up with and what your initially simple idea can evolve to. Also putting a lot of thinking into your design will show and reflect on your work. Ask questions, challenge everything, dig deeper.


I have put as one of my personal manifesto points: “Create then analyse, then create some more” as I have always spent too much time thinking rather than doing. Sketching and putting your ideas to the test is crucial because it may all look visually alright in your head but when you try to put it into practice it doesn’t always come out as planned.


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