This chapter is concerned with some of the distinctive features of design thinking, a few of which have been touched upon already. This is a good point at which to emphasise the peculiar difficulties of design, or synthesis, as compared with analysis, which is more familiar to most of us and has almost a monopoly of that part of school education which is intellectually disciplined. One such difficulty is the need for a high level of insight, sometimes achieved only after long study, perhaps interrupted to allow ‘incubation’ to occur. This insight is the basis of that familiarity with the subject which may make original steps possible and is certainly essential to good design. Torroja, the great Spanish civil engineer, wrote that the designer should understand the working of a structure as clearly as he understood the working of a bow and arrow.
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