Is Sudoku a model for good design?

Equating law school with crossword puzzles in yesterday’s post made me think of my current favorite puzzle, Sudoku, and I wondered, is Sudoku a model for good design? The puzzle itself involves no design, but the process of solving it is much like the process of solving a design problem. In each case, one must assess the facts, exercise logical thinking, and pay careful attention to detail. Guessing is not much help.

Of course, Sudoku puzzles have only one correct answer, and that is where Sudoku and design part ways. Arriving at a brilliant design solution, unlike Sudoku, requires creativity, inventiveness, and a certain level of intuitiveness. And, of course, there is never just one design answer.

Nevertheless, I think Sudoku is a good model after all. A creative design that doesn’t function properly is really not a solution to the problem. Without a strong basis in logic and attention to detail, a design is likely to be, at best, superficial and, at worst, a risk to health and safety.

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