On this web page, you will find definitions of terms that Design Impulse uses. In alphabetical order:


A behavioural way to tackle a certain type of problem from a certain perspective. For example:


Productive through imagination.

Design (noun)

A plan, sketch, or drawing to show the appearance, function, and workings of an object before it is built or made.

Design (verb)

To create new ex­pe­ri­ences by means of an object that is yet to be built or made. In other words, design attempts to meet and exceed explicit and implicit expectations by specifying a new object. There are many fields of application, such as advertising design, industrial design, and web design.

From a scientific point of view, design creates a theory: an idea, a plan, or a set of prin­ciples how to fulfil certain needs and desires through the proper­ties of a yet non-existing object. Furthermore, design creates a model of this theory. It specifies an object with properties that correspond to the properties following from the theory. On the basis of this model, you can then build or make the object (see Towards an anticipatory view of design).


The emotion that a person feels when s/he realizes the possibilities s/he has to fulfil a need or desire.


A set of principles, practices, and procedures, which have been proven to help solve certain types of problems. For example:

  • Agile for change-driven develop­ment,
  • V-Model for test-driven develop­ment, and
  • Design for X for issue-driven develop­ment.

Organizational creativity

Creativity that you cannot attribute to individuals but only to a group of people.

Professional practice

A group of people focusing on long-term sustainable success of a certain profession in an organization. For instance, for design, see A Frame­work for Building a Design Practice.

Wicked problem

A vague, confusing, and unique problem, which you can understand only after the formulation of a solution.

A design problem is a wicked problem. In practice, requirements formulated to express needs and desires of users are often incomplete, inconsistent, imprecise, or ambiguous (see Towards a knowledge level theory of design process).