Where do ideas come from, and who owns them?

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readMay 5, 2021


There’s an interesting conversation in the fringes of the debate around the #DoubleDiamond for #designthinking / #servicedesign from the Design Council, as a new iteration of their approach is launched.

It’s a nice example because it doesn’t seem to involve vitriol or dissembling, as you find so often in these situations.

It seems clear that the double diamond emerged from extensive group work in 2005, that it owes a large debt to Bela Banathy’s 1996 ‘Designing Social Systems in a Changing World’ (you can see both images in the gif), and also that there were some other uses of both the double diamond model — and the divergent and convergent thinking in phases that it represents — around at the time.

But did the Banathy double diamond provide the actual model (consciously or unconsciously), or was it just floating there behind them all?

Does it matter?

When we genuinely believe we invented something — but it turns out it just wasn’t for the first time? (There’s a nice example in a stinging review of Wolfram’s work I link to below).

When we’ve used something so long in a different way that it’s not reducible to the original model?

How do we pay proper respect, when even simple lines of inheritance become unclear in human lives?