"No apartment was meant to be better than any other" Description of the Biljmermeer
In the theory of Design Research there is a definition of a process that proves the rigor in which designer achieve their insights. But this has obviously brought up arguments. "Is post-its really going to lead me to a ingenious idea, or did I have that idea all along because I have years of experience and a one hour waste of paper sticky's is just a visual representative to prove to these business people (men) that my knowledge has value?" Let me reword, is design research a visual symbol of value of creativity?
I might argue that what designers do is empathize with need, and that should be instinctual, not manufactured through grouping post its. Not to say it can't ever be useful, I think sometimes as creators the brain can work in such intuitive leaps that a visual representation of that thought process can help us to rationalize what can seem like irrational intuition. Most important in this "empathization" is putting one's mind in a state of struggle. When I look at examples of innovative design, I see how "these projects have grown out of a culture of scarcity" (99% Invisible talking about Chile's Elemental's solution to the housing crisis after the earthquake). It's not simply understanding someone's problems, it is the need to understand someone's limits. And I think in that manner, one can also understand the concept of time in a better manner.
Time I see as a very crucial aspect of design, that is perhaps not pursued in-depth in design theory (that I have seen so far). The question of the life-time of a design, the death of a design (although this is now being tackled through sustainable design, one example being the UN's guidelines that countries planning to put objects in space must have a plan on how to retire them within 25 years due to the vast amount of space "junk"). Where I see "Half a House" succeeding over "Biljimermeer" is a sense of humility and a sense of time, and through that a manifestation of true user-participatory design in a manner that does not disregard either party's (designer versus user) necessity to the equation. It brings to mind the cliche quote "Give a man person a fish and they eat for a day, teach them how to fish and they can feed themselves for life"
A very opposite mindset to a business theory: destroy the fishes population by mass marketing and then make fish such a luxury that even those who know how to fish have no access to it.