Design thinking as commercial repackaging

Design Thinking, says @STS_News, is mostly commercial repackaging. Is the @wburnett @DaveEvansDYL satire of Designing Your Life jokes and one-liners missed?

In the end, Design Thinking’s not about design. It’s not about the liberal arts. It’s not about innovation in any meaningful sense. It’s certainly not about “social innovation” if that means significant social change. It’s about COMMERCIALIZATION. It’s about making all education a shallow form of business education. [….]

Burnett’s first step was to found something called the “Life Design Lab” at the and to create a new course, “Designing Your Life,” where he would begin rehearsing his satirical material. The conceit was that you could use Design Thinking as a form of self-help. He called the class to lampoon Stanford’s ridiculous fashions and to skewer the idiocy of thinking a paint-by-numbers system for consulting could also be used to “design” human existence. [….]

Designing Your Life is full of wonderful satirical moments where Burnett and Evans unmask Design Thinking as a fraud.

“Design Thinking is Kind of Like Syphilis — It’s Contagious and Rots Your Brains” | Lee Vinsel | Dec. 6, 2017 | Medium at

A later version (targeted more sharply at higher ed) appears as …
“Design Thinking Is a Boondoggle” | Lee Vinsel | May 21, 2018 | The Chronicle of Higher Education at

The book “Designing Your Life” (2016) is at .

An interview of Burnett and Evans suggests:

1. Be curious
2. Try stuff
3. Reframe problems
4. Know it’s a process
5. Ask for help

“5 Steps To Help You To Design Your Life” | Adi Gaskell | Sept. 16, 2016 | Forbes at

Originally posted at