Tools for Thinking: Stephanie Munson and Bruce Tharp

Stephanie Munson Tharp and Bruce Tharp, Associate Professors of Industrial Design in the UIC School of Design, are featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Innovation magazine. The Tharps' article "Tools for Thinking" presents the concept of Discursive Design, which they describe as an object intentionally (and abstractly) embedded with discourse. Unlike the three other fields of industrial design (Commercial Design, Responsible Design, and Experimental Design) put forth by the Tharps' work to provide meaningful categorization of the ever-expanding lexicon of design types, the success of Discursive Design is measured by the extent to which the object generates awareness, reflection, and debate.

One example of Discursive Design, cited in "Tools of Thinking" is the 3D Printed Gun co-designed by Cody Wilson, an object "designed to make a statement, to provoke and to open up debate."

Innovation is the quarterly peer-reviewed journal of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA).