Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Do Relationships Scale?

by • October 31st, 2011

Meaning is something that requires attention to create and use and the more variables competing for attention in your life, the less meaningful things might be. If this is the case, can we design programs and initiatives that scale up from small to big? Or do we need to reframe the way we see scaling to something akin to a network, whereby there are a lot of small nodes connected together? Networking nodes seems to be a way to go big and go small.

If so, what does this mean for designing systems that scale?

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The Shadow of Design and Creative Work

by • October 22nd, 2011

Designers seek to put their best forward in their creations, but sometimes it is the dark rather than the light that provides an impetus for good design. Carl Jung’s look into our darker nature might provide a means of understanding the lighter side of what we produce.  My work and related inquiry into design has […]

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Design and the Designer

by • October 13th, 2011

This week professional designers from the United States and beyond descend on Phoenix to attend the AIGA Pivot conference. While much will be discussed about the art, science and craft of design, an equally important focus (and one that may not be as visible) is that of the designers themselves and the role they play […]

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Systems Thinking and the Design of Empathy

by • September 22nd, 2011

A developmental design approach means shifting and changing over time and designing things in a manner that adjust to the complexities associated with dynamic systems. It brings together complexity, systems, design and the detailed feedback mechanism that comes through developmental evaluation. Leadbeater’s grid helps add to this concept by giving a focus to the development, from one level of empathy to another and one systemic scale to another.

Through thinking in systems and acting through design, perhaps then we can create the kinds of services and organizations that respond to the challenges we face.

And designing for empathy will help us know when we’ve achieved it.

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Quid nunc cogitat? In search of a definition of design thinking

by • September 10th, 2011

Design thinking is a concept that has gained much purchase in the creative industries and beyond, but what does it mean and does it matter?  Determining an answer to this question might mean the difference between advancing it further or ending the concept’s use altogether. The Latin form of the question of “what is design […]

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Design Thinking and the Metaphors of Science

by • August 28th, 2011

Metaphors for design thinking provide us with a means of taking the messiness of the language, something discussed in previous posts, to a new place until we can find the language that is most appropriate. Until that time, science might offer one of the better means of conveying design, complexity and the creativity that comes when we apply them both to generating products and services.

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The Science of Design Thinking

by • August 27th, 2011

Andrea Yip, a designer and health promoter, provides a bridge between the worlds of science, with its emphasis on evidence and strict adherence to protocols, and design, with its flexible, rapidly evolving, yet often non-specific methods. Indeed, Andrea’s blog showcases many examples of how design and fields like health promotion fit together and differ. It is time for both designers and scientists to listen more intently to this conversation.

By using methods, theories, analogies and conceptual models that extend our thinking beyond the realm of conventional design and science, we offer opportunities to make things, better — and in doing so shape our world for the greatest benefit for us all.

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Design Thinking: Reflections on an Unconference

by • August 21st, 2011

From August 19-20th, dozens of design-oriented people from different backgrounds came together in Vancouver to meet and discuss the concept of design thinking: its meaning, its application, and its future. These are some reflections on what I took away from the two day event.  Design thinking is becoming a hot topic — or term — […]

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Design for Social Norms or Social Change?

by • August 6th, 2011

Just as we create path dependencies for one set of values, so too can we do the same for others and with other people. The focus on the outcomes of systems rather than their design is problematic if we want change. Starting with design and values at the outset, being conscious of who we invite in and how we engage them and by remaining contemplative about how these systems unfold and the emergent patterns that shape them, designers of all stripes may be better positioned to create social change rather than just for social norms.

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Health for Design

by • July 14th, 2011

The Design4Health conference is on this week bringing together designers from different fields together with health policy, practice and research professionals. While the focus is on the relationship between design and health, it is also inspiring thoughts of how health itself is designed. This week the first Design4Health conference is being held in Sheffield, UK. […]

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