I tried.  I really, really tried to read Hatchuel, Le Masson and Weil (2004) C-K Theory in practice: Lessons from industrial applications.  I was lost. My eyes glazed. I am from an arts background that the jargon and examples they used, allowed for no connection. I get the basic, basic understanding. When designing we need to move beyond the Knowledge Space (K-Space) of facts and logic  which are the ‘knowns’ to include the Concept Space (C-Space) of the ‘unknown’, the empathetic intuition, gut feeling, the untried – the POSSIBLE. And that is what a design brief must encompass. What it must be open to…

So…A design brief must bring together all elements, all users of the space, all participants in the design investigation – the organization/corporation, the users and the designers. The collaboration between these parties creates the tension in the design brief. On one hand, the tension is in the flow, the empathy between the three and in achieving a balance between all – it manages the constraints imposed by the organization, external factors etc. but also focuses on the needs of the users on one hand. The design that merges the two must be innovational.

I wonder, if allowing for the ‘concept space’ – the space of gut feeling, and intuition, how often this is allowed to flower. I imagine that those design spaces which achieve international recognition have allowed for this; and the opposite, when they have instead maintained the ‘status quo’ of the constraints then the design brief has achieved a functional design, but not an innovational design.


Hatcheul, A, Le Masson, P. & Weil, B. (2004). C-K theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications.

NOTE: this is just the beginning, already starting to explore further and wider and will be posting here and on Storify, where my understandings lead. (3/8/2015)