top of page
  • gvanpatter

Bela Banathy Update

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

More on: Understanding What was Missed

Friends: We are well aware that some in the design community attribute origins of Double Diamond to the Bela Banathy's 1996 authored book entitled “Designing Social Systems in a Changing World.”

If you look at the references listed in the back of that book you will find 2 references to SJ Parnes, page 359 including reference to Guide to Creative Action 1977. The Parnes Five Diamond Model was already in public circulation at that time. 1971-1977.

The Parnes Five Diamond Process was clearly not understood by Banathy who was not particularly interested in behaviors. There is not one reference to behaviors in Banathy’s 1996 book. Have you ever seen a bad knock-off of an Eames chair? Here in Double Diamond you have one.

In addition, any methodologist looking at the quite incomprehensible Banathy process included in the book would see that not even he intended the Double Diamond to be a stand-alone process!

Banathy had numerous other pieces in mind, not included in the UK Double Diamond that arrived at the party approx 30 years after the five diamond model had appeared, ignoring all the lessons already learned there in the CPS community.

At best UK Double Diamond 2005 reflects a misunderstanding of Banathy's 1996 misunderstanding of Parnes's pioneering 1971 Five Diamond Model where Sid was channeling/activating the 1970s intellectual firepower work of American psychologist, JP Guilford.

Perhaps most importantly, what often gets missed is that when the Parnes Five Diamond process model appeared in the 1970s it represented decades of methology R&D work, significant innovation and the emergence, the foundation of a behavior-based innovation language.

It is a language and an emergence STILL not deeply understood or appreciated by many in the designerly communities today.

Happy to give credit to Sid Parnes (Osborn died in 1966) who was very influenced by the work of JP Guildford as was much of the CPS community at that time.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page