Learning from the Positive: A Structured Approach to Possibility-Driven Design

Simon Jimenez, Anna E. Pohlmeyer, Pieter M.A. Desmet

This paper discusses an approach to possibility-driven design as an alternative to traditional problem-driven design approaches. The first parts discuss merits and challenges when designing for possibilities, and present some examples of existing design theories that exemplify the potential contribution of this view on design. Next, a five-staged possibility-driven design process is introduced, in which personal anecdotes are collected, selected, and analysed as a main fuel for the design process. A design case is reported that applied this process to the design of office furniture. A positive, personal anecdote of an office worker about ‘dissolving in the moment’ was selected as the main design theme for designing a novel experience in the office mediated by a chair. The design case is used to discuss details of a possibility-driven design approach. Finally, we reflect on the suitability of the approach for different design scenarios, its limitations, and possible (future) applications. 


Jimenez, S., Pohlmeyer, A.E., Desmet, P.M.A., & Huzen, G. (2014). Learning from the Positive: A Structured Approach to Possibility-Driven Design. In J. Salamanca, P. Desmet, A. Burbano, G. Ludden,  J. Maya (Eds.). Proceedings of Colors of Care: The 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion, pp. 607-615.

Jimenez Pohlmeyer Desmet Huzen 2014 - Design and Emotion-1