Iconic design process ‘The Double Diamond’ turns 20 – Celebrating the Design Council’s iconic design process.
Today, the Design Council are marking 20 years since the publishing of the Double
Diamond, a globally used simplification of the design process.
Launched in 2004, the Double Diamond has become world-renowned with millions of
references to it on the web, as well as being adopted by many well-known design courses
and organisations across the globe such as Braun Design (P&G), Meta Reality Labs
Research, NHS Digital, Design Council Australia, Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Double Diamond illustrates a process that designers and non-designers need to take
and the ideal conditions they need to put in place to achieve their goals.
The Design Council has since built other tools using the Double Diamond (Framework for
Innovation, Systemic Design Framework) which help designers and non-designers across
tackle complex social, economic and environmental problems.
To celebrate the anniversary, the Design Council is releasing the Double Diamond under a
Creative Commons licence, as well as a Mural template which will help designers use it online.
Today, the Design Council celebrates 20 years of the ‘Double Diamond’ a
globally used model for innovation and structured design approach to tackle
challenges. Adopted by many companies and design courses worldwide, the Double Diamond
aims to achieve creativity and innovation through applying the design thinking methodology,
through 4 keys steps (Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver) that take the design process from a
problem to a solution.
In 2003, a team at the Design Council was tasked with creating a simple visual representation of
what can be a complex process. Based on academic research and other design processes in
industry, they settled on an easy to remember 4 step process:
● Discover: A problem is explored through desk and user research. Early ideas are
● Define: The research is analysed and ideas synthesised to create a clearer definition of the
● Develop: Multiple concepts are developed and iterated.
● Deliver: A final concept is chosen and further defined and delivered.
To mark the anniversary, the Double Diamond is formally available to use for free under a Creative
Commons licence. The Design Council have also partnered with Mural, the San-Francisco-based
visual collaboration digital platform, to publish the Double Diamond as a template.
This month, the Design Council will also gather some of the key voices for a discussion to reflect
on the Double Diamond’s history, impact on the design industry and its future. During this event,
the Design Council will also showcase a number of the Double Diamond’s adaptations by
companies like Meta Reality Labs Research, NHS Digital, Design Council Australia, Public Health
Agency of Canada.
Gill Wildman, Founder Upstarter Incubator, who was a member of the Design Council team who
published the Double Diamond said: “Our aim was to open up how we talked about design, to make that process accessible in a simplified way. We built directly on the shoulders of so many process-modelling designers, so watching its adoption and adaptation is an inspiring reflection of that flow.”
“We never anticipated that this particular model would have so much impact, be so repeated and
widely taken up by the industry, especially by non-designers.”
The Design Council’s CEO Minnie Moll said: “The simplicity of the Double Diamond has helped designers explain their process to their clients and other non-designers,as well as develop their own versions. With the climate emergency and complex systemic problems, its simplicity can be built onto help designers transition their practice and their clients.
Our Systemic Design Framework gives the Double Diamond an expanded framing and offers
designers a new tool to work with. We’ll continue to learn from designers and how they work, and
explore new ways in which the Double Diamond might be adapted over time”.
James Higgs, Managing Director & Partner at IDEO Europe said: “The Design Council has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of design, to expand the scope of what it can do and has inspired generations of designers to enter the profession. Over the last 40 years, IDEO has tried to do the same through our work with clients and by openly sharing the tools and frameworks that we use. With such aligned missions, it seemed natural to host this event together to mark 20 years of the Double Diamond. We’re excited that IDEO Co-chair and former CEO Tim Brown will be with us to represent IDEO on the panel. We anticipate an insightful and stimulating discussion, especially about where design needs to go next.”
If you would like to join the in-person celebration please rsvp to: [email protected],
limited spaces are available. Audiences can tune in for the discussion online by registering HERE.
Images of the Double Diamond and its example uses by leading organisations can be downloaded