Category Archives: Perspective

Bringing to bear a legacy of perspective on the transformations of contemporary design practice

Thanks to Tricia Wang’s recent article in Fast Company magazine on the unhealthy legacy of a strategy tool from ‘design thinking’, I read her links to Jesse James Garrett’s reflections on the developments in the practice of UX and Maggie Gram’s tracing the history of design thinking and the increasing capacity of design to its […]

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To see the forest for the trees

Last night, Samim said something on skype that has completely changed my perspective and focal length. He pointed out that ‘the system’ is vast and beyond our comprehension. That it is nature who runs the planet. Life on earth is a complex and complicated interdependent dance of balance and harmony. And, we, humans, are simply […]

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Reflections on adopting new thinking tools and approaches

About a month ago, I committed to a disruptive change in my approach and process for development of an outcome. It has been difficult to change one’s habitual ways of thinking and doing. I had to write down the new rules of engagement in order to keep referring to them as a means to keep […]

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New Moon

 

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One year anniversary of experimenting with design and innovation tools for vegetable vendors in Nairobi’s slums

Felix Omondi, our lead innovation facilitator, reminds me today that its the one year anniversary of the first participatory design workshop held with mama mbogas in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s informal settlements. Categorized by us as the “tomato group” of B2C (business to consumer) vegetable vendors (mama mboga in colloquial swahili), these 8 ladies were […]

Also posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Design, Design Methodology, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Research, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Going back to first principles

It seems to me, when I finally do get the space and bandwith to step aside from academic reading and writing, to reflect upon the magic of the Kalevala, as I began to do, only a few short months ago, that the real message in Kaleva’s songs, is the power inherent in going back to […]

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Seismic Shock: Approaching the old practice of design from the new perspective of today

The wrenching shift in my perspective from the outcomes of a project to its process – forced by circumstances of scholarship less than three weeks ago – has kept me preoccupied with reams of paper. I can sense the difference in slowly reading through printed out versions of selected journal articles, annotating their margins and […]

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Personal reflections on the remote resilience project (April 2020 – August 2020)

As I prepare to speak on Tuesday morning at a conference being organized online, I was moved by my review of the materials gathered during last year’s rapid remote resilience project to reflect on my personal impressions of the project. Over and above anything else, over the past week I have found myself moved close […]

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What is social design?

Social design is an emerging stream of design that is still finding its space and boundaries (Chen et al., 2016; Koskinen, 2016; Markussen, 2017). Markussen (2017) argues against Manzini’s (2015) depiction of the ‘social’ in social design implying that it only applies to situations where people are poor or marginalized or recovering from a natural […]

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The 5D’s of BoP Marketing: Touchpoints for a holistic, human-centered strategy

Original version published January 2009 in Core77 – as you will note, it requires an overhaul of the details to make it more robust against the passage of time Progress in the social mobile field will come only when we think more about best practices in the thinking and design of mobile projects and applications, […]

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