Design Theories #1: Bruno Munari's Design Method | Luisa Barbero | Skillshare

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Design Theories #1: Bruno Munari's Design Method

teacher avatar Luisa Barbero, Designer. Bookworm. Professional wierdo.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction to the class

    • 2. Let's know more about Bruno Munari

    • 3. Let's dive into the method!

    • 4. More examples and explanations on the method

    • 5. Your project!

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About This Class

This class is all about the design method created by Bruno Munari. This method is fundamental for you to understand design thinking and to find effective solutions to your problems, and to gain more knowledge, experience and skills. 

Bruno Munari has been and his work still is one of the most fundamental in the design world! He has not only been a designer, but a poliedric figure, and therefore I encourage you to find his books and publications and have a look, there are so many interesting topics that is quite a long process to list them all ;) on a personal base, what I love the most is this design method and the tactile books ;) 

Here you can find some useful links:

The design process we analyze through out the 12 steps is meant to help us not only to find solutions, but also to widen our view on the problem and what sourrounds us. Therefore it's important to really focus and work hard on each step, i guarantee a lot of satisfaction in the end ;) 

12 steps are a lot but they will easily became a sort of automatic workflow the more you practice it. And remember: this is not a fixed skeme, you can always go back and re-formulate, re-research and work again on your prototypes! Also, interaction is key for this to work: make sure you will give yourself enough time to test your prototypes with various subjects and also take some time for you to take decisions and let your creativity free flow :)

Feel free to share your opinions and ask questions, I'll answer as soon as possible! :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Luisa Barbero

Designer. Bookworm. Professional wierdo.


Hi everybody!

I'm Luisa, I'm a freelance Designer and video editor living between Berlin and Torino. 

I'm graduated in Fine Arts and have a M.A. in Communication Design, currently living the craziness of Berlin,  seeking everyday for new inspirations and adventures.


Weirdness and curiosity are what I always strongly encourage and are the words that I love to use to describe myself.

My Skillshare classes will always be about all my greatest passions (photography, arts and design)  Keep an eye on my Instagram for my constant challenges..Have a look!




Colour // Flowers // Textures // Nature

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1. Introduction to the class : Hi, everybody. I'm resigned. Welcome to the sculpture class. Today we're gonna talk about criminality and in the specific we're gonna talk about his design with it. We will see who belong on that Iwas. And how is method works well have also some example. So we all can comprende it way better and see how it really really works. I hope you enjoy this class on. See you in a couple of seconds. 2. Let's know more about Bruno Munari : so before diving inside Bruna Mona is meant it. Let's have a look toe who actually know that? Iwas Bruno Munari was born in 1907 in Milano, and he was an artist, the dominant and Italian writer. He was a huge multitude off books that are on the topic of design and discovery and also wrote a lot of books for Children because one of his most loved topics waas creativity, discovery and the possibility to see fruit chat Children's eyes and to be completely free on a completely open to discovered a word that's around us, you can see as artwork basically everywhere. He did more than 400 exhibitions of his work, and he has been such an influential person that he's one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century. All these work were a space on the idea off taking what's around you, even your emotions, your personal experience and what's their knowledge about around you and create something completely new and crazy and different. And this is what he made. And I believe this is how you also create his super a nominative method that we're gonna discover very soon. So let's dive in the method 3. Let's dive into the method!: now let's get into the methodology. So what Brunell, Nerdy said, is that we have to go from steps to achieve the results we like on and think about it. What is the most easy to imagine things that will make you go through a lot of steps and we'll give you a result, like a perfect That's a cooking work. It might seem like the most unusual thing Teoh put together with design, but actually they work the same exact way. What grown all minorities method is is a 12 staff method that will help you to get to have a complete, complete comprehension about your problem. And when you have the full comprehension of your problem, then you're able to distract it and see it from a completely different view and then elaborate something new or create a new solution for the problem. So the first thing we have to do when we think about minorities methodology is identify our problem. So we have to identify what the problem is to then go in on. Continue thinking about it because the second step is defining the problem. Here. You have to define your problem in every step, like even the smaller step that you wouldn't even think or get for granite. Here you have to put it on. You have to write it. You have to see in front of you so you can see every step. Think about resulting, for example, so our problem will be right. Then how do we define the problem? Let's get more specific. We have to cook, resulting for four people. And what about if we do spinach result, for example, unusual but faces great on. It's a nice solution for even so now we have our problem. We have to find our problem. But when we defend our problem, we should think about the third step, which are the competence off the problem. So when we think about our results, we have to think, What do I need for it? I need writes. I need broth or other. I need onions and I need spin. It's for sure. So here we defined every little piece we need to put together to see our problem. Indian type integrity of the problem. Right now, when we think about our problem, we should also answer herself. Did anyone else before us think about this that anyone else makes some research. This is our fourth step, and it's collecting data. Collect data around your problem. So whenever is the question you're asking yourself, Google it. Go to library, ask your teachers, ask your friends, see if anyone ever wrote made a video or did anything else about the problem you're analyzing this way you will have to go through a process that will show you know only what other people then, but maybe also how other people did it. So this can help you a lot to understand what might be better for your personal project. When you have your amount of data, it's time to go to the fifth step off our method, which is analyzing the data. So thinking about again about our results, we could ask yourself So I have the recipes of other people. But how did they do it? Actually, which on the steps they followed and most importantly, why did they follow those steps? So whatever you have in front of you as a theory or as a research, you found, just go really into deep it. What I highly suggest you is take a piece of paper, write down everything and then highlight all the passages off everything. You're looking for. All the data you're following. Then when you have all your data, it's time for your creativity today. So you know what? Your problem. You know how other did it? You know the data you collected so many different data. And at this point, you will have your point of view. You will start to figure out. Okay, I can put this with the other other thing or I like this point of view. I can elaborate it this way. So now it's when we have to start making our own ideas and thinking about OK, maybe I should try this. Maybe I should put this with this other thing. So this is when we put our materials together. So we decide. I want to use this rice with this onion and this specific type of finish in the specific type of pen. This will make my project as I want. Following what? I did, what I knew before, but in a new way. Because it's my way off seeing this now you gather all the material you need. All the things you decided are perfect for your project and its thank you experiment so you can cook your recipe and see how it looks like or go around and show people you're a prototype. Write a book and give it to a friend and asked, What do you think about this? If you're prototyping an object, maybe make a small version off plastic. Or you can use a three D printer or whatever you like, and then give it to people. Look how they're reacting to this. Look if they planted, if they have questions, because you can use this up and down. So if you find that when you're doing your tests, there's something that comes out a new research about that you can go like Oh, okay, this is something new I can add. I can go back to my steps and then continue following them until the end. So up there a little bit of testing. You might have your final perfect Let's say, which might be a mostly similar to the last version of our results, a recipe so last last, plus things to do yet very fight at the end. If if this is perfect, so you have to write it down how it ISS should be perfect. Does it fit? Does it work as it was in your mind? Great. Now you very fight the last time. And when it's very five for the last time, you have to make a sketch of it. So you say this amount of rice this amount off onion Desmond off oil. There's a month of spinach and you write it down. You make it the most comprehensible, uh, the best possible. So whenever someone else comes, makes a research finds your recipe was like, OK, I perfectly know for sure I met this quantity. I need this specific type of rice and they will know everything. It's bright and it's working. So now you have your solution. We are at the 12 step. So the solution is your final project with the final designs, and this will work with every type of project you have. You will see a couple more examples following, but I'm pretty sure that this is as much as you use this method, the more you will comprehend it. And the great thing is, this will become something you won't even have to think about. I have to go for Step 12 free for whatever. It will come naturally to you, which is the greatest thing about this method, because it's so something that goes deep inside, how we perceive our reality, that it will come as natural as much as possible to us. So let's dive into other type of purchase. 4. More examples and explanations on the method: So we stayed it that the first thing we have to do is identify what's the problem? So we're talking about every type off problem off course. This could be an emotional problem. This could be an ergonomic problem. A functional problem, a design problem. Whatever it is, you have to be sure to completely state, um, what's your problem? So Ah, for example, let's say you want to build a new chair. So what is your problem? Building a chair? That's it. You have to have something in front of you that says Okay, this is what I want to investigate. This is what I want to work on. This is what I'm gonna tackle. Let's dive into So then, after we stated our problem, we identified it. Then we go to step number two. That, as we already saw, is the problem definition. So this should be, um, the step where you really refined what they're thinking about because it's hard to to say, OK, maybe this problem could involve this thing, could involve this other thing. But, um, you have to always try to deep to go very deep in every type of problem. For example, if a client comes to you and says I have this problem. Just don't take it like that because your client could be great and could know everything they need. But you should go and go deeper in the problem and really define what's going on there. Like what? Issa riel thing we are talking about. Why is this not working? Why is this something we have to solve and note on the side? Um, what's very common in the design word, uh, went when you're a beginner, off course is, um, immediately seeing the solution when you're talking about the problem. So that's not a correct approach at all, because that is somehow limiting your work. You have to go through methods like this method we are following because this is gonna open you a lot of possibilities and give you a different overview off what you're investigating . Otherwise you will look at one type of solution, not consider anything else, and then maybe end up with something that's not working at all, or that's not satisfying you or your client or your emotional state problem. So that's why you have to go through a lot of steps. I know it's hard. I know it's very slow in the beginning, but this the only way you're going to discover so many other things that are connected to what you're investigating, that it will give you so many stimuli about other things you might never know and think that maybe you end up creating something you will never have thought about creating. So that's also like the fun part about this, and I don't know if you can tell, but I'm really passionate about this. So now we know we identify their problem with the final problem. Let's see what the components are. So as we did for the result of what you have to see here is, Does this assembled? It's so hard this assemble your problem in its component parts. Um, so, like, you know, there's a way of saying that is, how do you eat an elephant piece by piece? That's this exact same thing you have to do with your problem. So when we thought I thought about the result that we said, Okay, um, we need this thing, we need rice. We need spices, We need vegetables we need brought and everything like that, you know, and it's the same thing you have to do with every small problem. Every problem you have again. When you look at the components, don't think about the solution that's absolutely not useful at the moment. For example, let's think about the chair. So what are the components of the chair they could be? For example, um, the materials, the shape, the function the user so like, always look at everything. Also, that is surrounding what your problem is. Because if you are creating something for different environment than the environment you're used to, for example, your home, then it probably might not work because it's not meant to be working in that place. And this is something that's implicit. You will not immediately think about it when, especially when you're in this first step. So you're just looking at your problem. But this is gonna help you so much later, especially when you will be collecting data because that's going to give you a direction. So let's talk about the collecting data for a second, So collecting data means a lot of thing, and I know it's it's hard and of course, this depends a lot on the type of project you are gonna tackle if we're talking about design problems. If we're talking about the chair, um, for example, you could look at catalogues. You could look at a history of design and look at what was designed before. And why did it got inside a history of design? Or if you're looking about something that's gonna make even look at pictures off offices, talk with the people that are working in that office because that is really what's going to give you insights like get as many insides as possible from other people because one thing is having your insight, which is good. But that's one experience and one experience could give limited amounts of results. But, for example, even you don't need to talk to, I think like 100 people off course. It depends on your project. But even just like 5 10 people listen to what they're having a struggles. Listen to what they like about that project. Listen to what they're like. Yeah, this doesn't convince me too much, but I'm OK. I better change this or yeah, I wish so much this chair had that feature and take notes. Take a lot of notes. Then we have Google, which is our best friend, which is our friend. That's gonna open us an entire word it off course. Um, if you're doing like a super theoretical, um, type of research, you're gonna have some databases where you can access for example, academic papers. And that's also like a great, great place where you can find a lot of informations. But when you're working a lot more like with clients or where it's something that's a bit more active, talk with the people that's like the most important thing. Talk with the people, study, get books, get magazines, for example. When they get like a lot of photo inspirational, it's kind of things that's going to make you discover the craziest things and you're gonna love it. You're definitely gonna love it. So after you collect this huge amount of material, um, what I always suggest is, um, don't take too much time like go deep right, But don't get overwhelmed. So when you're feeling that the amount of the that you have, it's overwhelming, Um, then that's the moment. Stop and to go into the Russian lazing slash that analysis step, which is the fifth step because you now have to see what are did they tell you collected and you somehow have to sort them. What does it mean? Sort them, Um, it means, look at your data. You could make like a chart and say, OK, this question was the question I asked to five people, and I got this in this in this answer. What do they have in common with today? Not and then write down a list of the things that, for example, where, um asked the most or things that are annoying the people the most Or, um, things that are making people uncomfortable. Things that you like colors you like colors that are not present, that maybe could be a great add to your product again, it also allowed Depends on what you're investigating on. But still, what you have to end up with is a paper that says these are the most common things. This is are the most uncommon things. Now I can see them in front of myself and decide Okay, what is best for my project and what is going to completely destroy it so even don't ever for a way to things that are too negative things about the project. Because when you're gonna be elaborating the project and then prototyping it, they could always come in handy and say, Yeah, maybe this was related to this thing that people didn't like. So I might just ditch that idea and pass into something else, which is our next stuff. That is creativity. So one of the fundamentals off Nazis, life on mornings, idea and conception about design was the fact that you have to be creative. You are creative. You have experiences, you have idea, you have inspiration. So this is the moment where you take all your ideas and all the stuff you collected for your project and you put it together like what can I create about this? And don't be scared off going too crazy. Don't be scared that people will tell you all this is so crazy. Like this will happen like this will happen. And this is gonna help you so much in understanding what your taste what do you like? Which are declines You like to work with whether the project see, like to do for yourself in which hard for Dixie like to do for others. But, um, don't put limits on yourself off course. Um, if you are working for someone and they have, I don't know, a budget. Um, don't take that as a limit. Eso your creative idea could be, for example, creating this amazing chair made of crazy would that's like super difficult find with the super soft texture, maybe some letter or something. But if you're doing it that way like like it's in your mind, it will cost you a fortune. And your client is like, Okay, my limit is 500 years. I can spend more than that. Look at that as a possibility. Don't look at that as something that's going to stop you. So they're like, You have your fabulous idea about your chair. You have a limit off 500 years. Then that's when the moment when you go back to the search and you're like, OK, now let's look at materials that are similar to the ones who wanted to use. Let's look at what other people did. So you go again into some sort of creative and research while you're passing on the seventh step, that is materials and technologies. So here you define what's gonna be in your project, like physically in your project. So you're saying, OK, I want this. Would that looks like the super expensive wood, but it's way less expensive. Maybe it's fair trade. Maybe it's locally produced. Maybe there are some companies that will ship it for less. If I produced five chairs or something like that, and then you look at other materials for your project and here use you say, Okay, this is the list off things I'm gonna need. This is a semi definitive, less off things. I'm going to go for it. So now you know. What do you want to do? You have your materials. It's time to make your first prototype. So off course prototype. It's something that helps you to test how something works. We're talking about the chair. Ah, you could build this chair and then, uh, colder friends and your relative and say, Oh, do you want to come over? We can have a trial like you consider on the chair I just made and tell me how amazing it iss or tell me. Okay. Is this comfortable? Is it not? If you want a bigger do you think it could be a bit more comfortable and off course not all the projects could have physical prototypes. A lot of the times the physical prototype is way too expensive to be done. So what I suggest is, for example, um, doing a freaky little image or if you're prototyping and app, just use Adobe X'd for a prototyping. Then you'd make the spake app. You put it on your phone, you give it to a friend and you're like a dry try. This app let me know how you think about it, and that's gonna be great. That's gonna be, like, absolutely effort. Last almost effort. Lance, Of course, on way less expensive than building directly the app you wanna build buying directly the chair you want to build, of course, but it's also, like depends on the time and also depends on the budget you have. What I suggest is even if you have very little time, prototyping is mega helpful, like that's really going to give you so many insights, and it's gonna be so helpful in your entire process that spend even, just like four days, three days on prototyping and giving a prototype around and see how people look. They see what how they interact, how they use it. Take notes. Because if you have some negative notes, for example, then you can always go back t to the previous steps and say, OK, maybe I have to change something in my materials. Maybe I have to change something in my design. Maybe I have to change something in my project because the good part about this, uh, this method, one of the good things is that you can always go back to the previous steps and re elaborate, like it's a never ending cycle. You can always go back and forth, and that's just gonna help you to get better and better. Um, but side note, never overdo it. Whatever you do in everything field in life, don't overdo it because that's going to drive you just crazy. And their results you're gonna have is not gonna be satisfying. Uh, make something that makes you happy. Make something you're proud of. Make something that, like, as in step nine will get you to have a prototype final prototype that then, in stage 10 you will go out, make a test and make validation testing. So, validation. Testing is where you're really, really having the feedback, like the final feedback. And you're like, Okay, now I'm done. This is the final test, and, um and then what you're gonna do? So you tested your idea, right? You made prototypes. They worked like other stage. They should work. You should be happy with it. Now. It's when you have to put down all the technical drawings and all the technical aspects about your idea so literally, you have to translate your design into some technical drawings if it's an object or into a list of the things that your project should have or in a presentation, if it's designing and experience. So make sure to have a list that you can hand to someone and say Okay, if you need to reproduce what my design is, take this list. You're gonna have everything you need, nothing less, nothing more. And that's just gonna be it. So this they excels to the solution. So when you have your final solution, it's all said, it's all on paper. You're sure you have your prototypes. You maybe have your object or your physical thing or your idea or your experience planned, then it's the moment to communicate it to the world. And this is absolutely important. I say communication of your solution is part of your design. So if you're good at, um, showing what you've done to people, you're taking the time to say, Look at what I've done. Look at the research of Done. Look how great it is and validate what I've been. So that's super important. So now we're at the end. I hope this wasn't too long and too boring for you. Um, I really encourage everyone to try on and get into their design process the first time. As I already said many times, That's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be a bit confusing, maybe a bit overwhelming, but don't give up. Asked for help whenever on. There are plenty of books, um, that you can read plenty of articles. You can ask questions wherever, whenever there's always gonna be someone answering for you. Um, so, yeah, don't be afraid. And don't be afraid to be created like the last thing you should ever, ever do in your life is being scared or being creative because you are creative by nature, and you should never stop that in a The thing that's inside you. Whatever type of creativity doesn't just go for it. That's the system ease. 5. Your project!: now we gave all the possible knowledge on the What I'm expecting from you is that in the section of your project, you will put them on your ideas just even just right. This is my problem. Help me. Or just show me how you will go from each step so you can catch it. You can just write it down. You can put pictures or what you're doing. Make a small video whatever you prefer. But be sure to put into the project section your work about your personal problem. Show me how you solve it, showing me how your research so we can all learn about this experience. And maybe if you're using it more than once, just tell us how you feel about it. Which type of research You may, how it went through today. So you did it. Which results? Which problems did you have with this method? So we can all learn and share our experience together? I really hope you enjoy this class on. Hopefully we'll see you very soon. Bye.