Episode 07: Mastering the design brief

In this episode of the Thinking through Design podcast, host Adam Fromme sits down with Sébastien Proulx, PhD.


“The brief is a communication tool for all the stakeholders…including you.” Sébastien Proulx


Their conversation discusses the intricate dynamics of the design process, underscoring the need for designers to confidently tackle challenges, foster creativity and uphold professionalism in the design industry. The design brief is offered as an essential tool for guiding design projects, maintaining focus, and ensuring alignment with client expectations. As the essential qualities of the design brief were described, central themes of clear communication, goal delineation and client collaboration surfaced. Overall, the discussion provides valuable insights for practitioners aiming to address needs effectively.

Sébastien is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design at Ohio State University, where he coordinates the Industrial Design major and co-directs the DESIS Lab. He holds a PhD and Master of Applied Science in Design from the University of Montreal. Before joining Ohio State, he taught at the University of Montreal for 12 years, focusing on social service design and visual communication for industrial design students. Dr. Proulx’s research explores the role of designers in shaping public services and policies, drawing on moral sociology and care ethics. His work aims to expand design’s impact in public service development and equip designers with the skills to navigate complex social and political landscapes.

Show notes: The episode includes reference to Managing the Brief for Better Design by Alastair Blyth and John Worthington


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