Rodgers, Inella and Bremner (2017) discuss seven paradoxes of design practice, which they characterise as follows:
Design is very undisciplined as a discipline
The easier it becomes to design, the harder it is to design
Design has become impoverished by the claim that good design equals good business
The originality claimed by design is in reality derivative
The usefulness of design research lies in its uselessness
The claim by design to be responsible is irresponsible
The devotion of design to sustainability is unsustainable
Steven Vial points to the following paradoxical injunctions to which designers are called upon to respond and resolve:
The meta-market injunction: Be a socialist and a capitalist at one and the same time!
The disruptive injunction: Be innovative!
The global problem-solving injunction: Save the world!
Rodgers, P. A., Innella, G. and Bremner, C. (2017) ‘Paradoxes in design thinking’, The Design Journal, 20(sup1), pp. S4444–S4458. doi: 10.1080/14606925.2017.1352941.
Vial, S. (2013) ‘Designers and paradoxical injunctions’, in IASDR 2013: 5th International Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (August 2013, Tokyo Japan). Available at: http://design-cu.jp/iasdr2013/papers/2124-1b.pdf (Accessed: 15 July 2018).