From a thread on Savage Minds in which OAC members might be interested
From Jon Kolko (http://www.jonkolko.com/writingDesignInnovation.php ):
Design typically utilizes a form of applied anthropology – I'll take “bastardized," if you' ll give me the time of day as a result of the compromise – to understand a problem with sufficient depth to move forward. It's part of a larger process of abductive reasoning, where an intuitive leap based on “just enough data” allows for forward motion.
Design is not Science, and it's not Art.
Jon, would it make sense to you to suggest that “knowing” varies from subjective conviction, sufficient for the artist, to public verification, demanded by science and courts of law at whatever level is taken to count as beyond reasonable doubt, with design falling between these extremes. Practically speaking the issue is when certainty reaches a level sufficient to drive action.
The artist is free to be inspired and proceed however he or she wants; the feedback that will determine the ultimate status of the work, as masterpiece or forgotten in history’s dustbin will be relatively slow. Indeed, in some cases, the artist may be long dead before the value of the work is recognized.
The designer works to order and combines inspiration with immediate feedback from clients whose wishes must be respected if not always obeyed. And when designs go into production the public response is fairly rapid.
The scientist's inspiration leads to methodical research whose methods and results must then be exposed to the scientist’s peers for verification. The results may then be further confirmed by application in development of new and, sometimes, radically world-changing technology.
This latter point marks the difference between science and the bulk of sound humanistic scholarship. The humanist also writes for peers who will question his or her methods and results. In the humanities, however, truly world-changing ideas are rare. The humanist’s ideas are only effective in changing the world in so far as they lead to the mobilization, energizing and organization of political movements. Most of what now counts as anthropological research is not in this category.