A radar is a system people use to detect where something is, where it’s going and how fast it’s moving.

A Design Radar is a conceptual tool for setting strategic directions and design meaningful “things”. It is acting as a dashboard cum score cards, allowing to detect patterns (behavioural, organisational) and envision the possible changes, movements, transformations, in order to shape concepts, strategies, scenarios and to draft roadmaps, plans, prototypes. As designers, what are we sensing from the context, in dialogue with the stakeholders, impact the design and the designing. The Design Radar allows to trace trajectories.

The Strategic Design Radar is focusing on the building blocks of designing “things” with five areas of focus – Communications, Objects, Services, Environments – interconnected by the “Interactions” zone. These areas allow to structure the intents specific to each zone of deliverables to be shaped and prototyped. The approach is “organisational” and project-centred (collaborative enterprise planned to achieve a particular aim). The focus is output.

The Narrative Design Radar is driven by storytelling approaches to explore and envision how a design process can be expressed in dynamic ways. It allows to work on the relations and interactions between protagonists (stakeholders) in a playground (situated context, with multiple dimensions). Connecting Fictions, Facts and Actions. The approach is “narrative” and plot-centred (main activities devised and presented as interrelated sequences). The focus is outcome.

Strategic and Narrative Radars work hand-in-hand to craft design scenarios and envision the next, with Design and designing as drivers for shaping the things.

Note: The term “Radar” itself was coined in 1940 by the United States Navy, as an acronym for “RAdio Detection And Ranging.” Radar has a transmitter that produces radio waves and a receiver that detects them. The system first sends out radio waves. The waves hit an object and some get reflected back toward the radar.