This self-righteousness that comes with being a Design Thinker consequently privileges the designer above anyone else. The result is a profession of narcissists deepening class stratification by standardizing Design Thinking jargon as a metric for gatekeeping and producing an artificial need that clients ought to hire for.
The unchallenged mindset of seeing the world as a landscape to redesign and “make better” (as if everything in the world is a problem to be solved) is not so much to proselytize design itself but rather under capitalism to make morally just the existence of the corporations these design evangelists represent. At the end of the day, Design Thinking is so entrenched in capitalism that the euphemism of “human-centered design” is only so “human” as it relates to the underlying business model. And perhaps this is why criticism on Design Thinking seems so little considering its rigid framework does not provide a vocabulary for an alternative outside of raw capitalism.
When the default is white, how can design as a “neutral” tool serve anything but whiteness? How can design as “universal” communicate when there is no universally adopted language? What is “clean” design if not contrasted with an “unclean” aesthetic relentlessly targeted?