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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys, an xNFP design student here. I was reading a magazine focussed on what they call "design thinking". Their analysis was really interesting, and I found some of their spiels focused on "design thinking" to be fascinating in that they almost perfectly fit with the function of Extraverted Intuition. ie:

"Design thinkers are naturally inquisitive and self-motivated. Interested in being interested, their curiosity propels itself, for the sake of itself. A proneness to learning new subjects and skills keeps the mind forging connections, switching lenses and forming new ideas. Such disciplinary promiscuity takes deep self-assurance and the resolve to un-commit and open-up. To be free of your fixedness.
Going blindly into new spaces, where sheer inexperience makes you more likely to fail, is daunting. But also exciting. To be so driven takes boldness. The belief that you can learn or create anything. And the invaluable virtue of being okay with failure. Finding value in the in-between spaces, Design Thinkers play among their interests.
"

TBH, this realization has made me kinda confident I am Ne-dom, and therefore probably an ENFP... but I digress... I actually found this definition to be rather shallow and narrowly-defined, as I feel there are amazing designers of all MBTI types!

So, I wanted to bring this up was because I want to try an exercise in testing and improving my understanding of the cognitive functions. I want to do this by trying to understand how each cognitive function might approach the same design problem. By contrasting them, I thought it would provide another possibility to understand how they might work in the real-world. Kind of like @Slicknick9283 did in his awesome effort here:

Articles - How Winnie the Pooh helped me understand cognitive functions (With pictures)

So, here we go... I'm imagining an architectural design problem (my interest) but it really could apply to any type of design or even business problem. Perhaps you could imagine it as an analysis of problem-solving in general even? I'll also try to list some designers/thinkers who I think embody that cognitive function decently well... But, please critique me and correct me! My understanding of the cognitive functions is admittedly very basic.
So:


Extraverted Intuition(Ne): A function I know well, Ne would approach the problem by exploring numerous possibilities. An Ne-dom designer would likely brain-storm a multitude of different solutions, and would seek to make intuitive connections between the design problem and the world around themselves. They would likely be biased towards creating something new; a solution that borrows from many different inspirations in an innovative way. However, it would be difficult for the Ne designer to settle on a final design. They would always be comparing their finished product with what could have been. IE: Bjarke Ingels, Steve Jobs, Frank Lloyd Wright?

Introverted Intution(Ni): The Ni-dom designer would likely seem more like the stereotype of the eccentric genius: someone who develops brilliant ideas, but ideas where it is hard to trace back to their genesis. Perhaps more confident in their ability to work without external influences, they might crunch all kinds of abstractions and variables within their head and come up with a single, definitive design as the ultimate solution. The weakness here might be that the Ni designer may not have factored in certain bits of external information, so their single solution might have some major flaws - or might be disconnected from their surrounding reality. IE: Frank Gehry, Leo Da Vinci

Introverted Feeling(Fi): The Fi-dom designer might bring their inner ideals to the table, in order to produce a design-solution which benefits their inner beliefs - or that at the very least doesn't contradict them. The design problem might not be seen as an isolated project but as something which fits into their broader understanding of the world. It thus might be seen as an opportunity to interact with this world in a positive way (positive in terms of their belief system.) An issue with this might be that the Fi designer is idealistic and might be seen as having a "secret agenda". They might be unable to work well with clients or audiences that don't believe in what they believe in. IE: ?

*Extraverted Feeling(Fe): The Fe-dom designer would likely be interested in the people surrounding the design issue: the clients, audience, surrounding populace, etc. They might be in-tune with the values of these people and might see it as their duty to produce a solution which is in line with their values, and which champions and even represents them. They might be the populist designer who is loved and respected by their society. IE: ?

Extraverted Thinking(Te): The Te-dom might be best at implementing a specific project in a bold, efficient way. Perhaps less concerned with exploring the concerns and variables which are not immediately a part of the project brief, they could produce a design which is more successful at achieving the specific goals of the project brief. This might be a result of their lack of concern with tiptoe-ing around offending others or with making a particularly beautiful or socially-oriented project. Their weakness might be that they are too narrowly focused, designing with a sort of tunnel-vision towards achieving their goal. IE: Robert Moses, Engineering/Infrastructure departments

Introverted Thinking(Ti): The Ti-dom designer would seek to figure out where the design problem might fit conceptually into the rational world-view they've developed. They would integrate all of its moving parts and elements into this world-view, absorbing the design problem and perhaps all of its related variables. They would seek to find a solution that incorporates all of this information in a non-problematic way and which successfully and elegantly takes into account all of the variables they felt were relevant. A problem here might be that they might not weigh the importance of the variables as their audience or client might. Their solution might not fit with the values of such people if they didn't at first take them into account. IE: Rem Koolhaas

Extraverted Sensing(Se): The Se-dom designer would perhaps be in the best position to be in tune with the immediate environment aesthetically. When glancing at surrounding buildings, landscape features, they might not be as distracted by the abstract baggage of other designers. This could be an advantage in producing a design solution which is most successful as experienced by the senses: it might be beautifully in harmony with the surroundings, or dynamic and visually stunning. Or perhaps it might let the sun shine or the breeze flow through the building in a pleasant way. A weakness here might be this strength, in that the Se designer might not address less immediately obvious constraints or concerns. IE: Daniel Libeskind

*Introverted Sensing(Si):
The Si-dom designer would likely be the one asking the question: "What has been done in the past?" That is, they would find it important to steep their design solution in history - whether it is personal memories, the collective history of the society, or perhaps both. Looking back, they would have the advantage of avoiding past mistakes and yet also taking the best aspects of all of the best design solutions which have come before. An added advantage might be that historically-oriented designs are often well-received by the public, as they evoke our positive memories and fascinations with the past (think Neo-classicism, Retro trends.) The Si designer might be conservative and unable to see how innovation could make their design better. IE: Thomas Jefferson, Andrea Palladio


So, thats all I've got... I was pretty tired before I even started writing, so hopefully it makes decent sense... :p . I'll try to think of some more designers or people who might represent my understanding of each, but its kind of hard off the top of my head... Like I said though I would love to hear your guys' input on this, because my understanding of the cognitive functions is pretty rudimentary still!

Edit: I'm going to start asterisk(*)ing the definitions that feel particularly suspect/potentially inaccurate so as not to mislead anyone with my ramblings... o_O
 

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Introverted Sensing(Si): The Si-dom designer would likely be the one asking the question: "What has been done in the past?" That is, they would find it important to steep their design solution in history - whether it is personal memories, the collective history of the society, or perhaps both. Looking back, they would have the advantage of avoiding past mistakes and yet also taking the best aspects of all of the best design solutions which have come before. An added advantage might be that historically-oriented designs are often well-received by the public, as they evoke our positive memories and fascinations with the past (think Neo-classicism, Retro trends.) The Si designer might be conservative and unable to see how innovation could make their design better. IE: Thomas Jefferson, Andrea Palladio
Si's about your personal impression of something, like a rose as passionate or a food as comforting and nostalgic. Your description sounds very extroverted, actually, using all sorts of stuff outside of itself for its choices. The Si type I imagine would care about how the design makes them feel, like blue making it feel calm or red feeling bold and fiery. It will probably be seen as symbolic by others even though it was never that way for the Si dom; they simply went off on how they saw the design. Not a design, but in paintings, think of Van Gogh. He really did see that the night sky was full of a billion colors but black; it was not a symbolic representation for him.



To me, this picture I took of a swan has a sense of elegance, abstractness, and purity. To another person, it's just a nice picture of a bird.

My idea of a Si design is basically the opposite of yours, haha. I did like your ideas of a Ne and Ni designer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Owfin Oh I definitely do seem to be on the wrong track in terms of my Si understanding. After reading your reply I noticed that the top thread is about misconceptions regarding Si.. I am guilty I must admit :p

Thanks for the analogies of the swan and of Van Gogh's work. It really helps me see that Si is perhaps much more immediate and personal than I understood. Looking back at history for precedents might indeed be more related to a different function, or perhaps none in particular? Actually I could see the process of 'mining' the past for inspiration could even be Ne - in the sense of making abstract connections between relatively un-related things...

1.jpg

Actually the idea of a subjective understanding of the sensory might relate to Frank Gehry's obsession with fish? It's no secret that his fascination with the form of the fish has been an influence on the curvy sorts of designs he makes. Maybe he is channelling his understanding of the form of the fish, but other people think he is abstracting/appropriating it?

Hm.. in any case maybe I'll start asterisking my more suspect definitions so I don't confuse anyone new to cog. functions :p

@LiquidLight Wow that is awesome, looks like an interesting read and I'm sure it is a lot more insightful then I could be. Another book to add to my massive "to-read" list... :D
 

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Si is much more abstract than people give credit for. Partially because it's paired with Ne which on type forums is overlooked (people have a tendency to not think in function pairs). But when you look at Introverted Sensation types, they often have a very quirky sensibility about them (even if its not expressed outwardly) and may look at life in very interesting ways.
 

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Extraverted Intuition(Ne): A function I know well, Ne would approach the problem by exploring numerous possibilities. An Ne-dom designer would likely brain-storm a multitude of different solutions, and would seek to make intuitive connections between the design problem and the world around themselves. They would likely be biased towards creating something new; a solution that borrows from many different inspirations in an innovative way. However, it would be difficult for the Ne designer to settle on a final design. They would always be comparing their finished product with what could have been. IE: Bjarke Ingels, Steve Jobs, Frank Lloyd Wright?
I agree with this --- except that since Ne is paired with Si --- over-time an Ne-user will always develop a very strong sense of what works best and start resorting to personal experiences/past learnings based on the best and most successful experiments. Even though an Ne-user will prefer to continue to experiment and create something totally brand new and out of the box, but over-time they will develop a signature style that's unique specifically to them based on what's worked best.

For example, I'm a very experimental musician and I do get bored with creating the same type of thing over and over again - so I find myself experimenting with new stuff consistently to break the monotony in my style. Many people who are exposed to just 3-5 of my tunes, tend to think that every tune is highly creative and experimental, however, those who have listened to all my tunes [or most of them anyways] always say that I have a very unique signature that seems to be there in pretty much every tune.
 
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