Confirming Experience: Being Present during Reflective Conversations

By Nicholas Spencer.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

If sketching is a reflective conversation, then confirming the qualities of one’s experience is a major skill.
This paper presents a discussion about the difficulties and importance of confirming experience for designers. The paper is concerned with role of experience for industrial designers, as they apply their discipline skills and knowledge, to explore frames and solution opportunities, through sketch development. Research into meditation is used to consider the training needs of designers to support them in becoming a reflective practitioner.
The paper argues that designing for a project community means connecting deeply with the narratives of people within that community, being mindful of these narratives while exploring frames and solution opportunities and being responsive to the changes in one’s experience during sketch experimentation. The paper concludes that the skill of connecting with one’s experience of the present moment supports reflective conversations and can be consciously developed to the benefit of design practitioners.

Keywords: Design Practice, Reflective Practice, Reflective Conversations, Mindfulness, Sketching

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.355-366. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.318MB).

Dr. Nicholas Spencer

Senior Lecturer / International Development Manager, School of Design, Northumbria University, UK

Nicholas is International Development Manager at Northumbria University’s School of Design and responsible for developing educational partnerships that foster academic and student communities of practice. Nicholas’s first degree is in industrial design and his Doctorate focused on expert designers’ experience of practice. Nicholas teaches across the School of Design’s Post Graduate provision and supervises Doctoral Research programmes. Nicholas is an active researcher with interest in the following areas: design and reflective practice theory; the wisdom traditions and design thinking; design PhD methodologies; and the experience and practise of design.


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