Tag Archives: design

A change of perspective and a whole new set of metaphors (Czarniawska, 2008)

“…each excursion into another field of knowledge brings with it things that were embedded in a different type of soil, and it is inevitable that particles of that soil are still clinging to the roots, practically invisible to the new owner. Additionally, a re-embedding into the new soil could produce deviations and hybrids that are […]

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Infrastructures of inclusion and informality: who drives the design of sociotechnical systems?

A recent Debate (Development and Change, Vol 52, No. 4) on the infrastructures of inclusion, informality and the social contract expands the notion of infrastructure beyond the tangible and the technological, to the systemic and economic, as well as societal structures and processes that are intended to facilitate inclusion. As Kate Meagher says in her […]

Posted in Design, Innovation Planning, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | Also tagged , , | 1 Response

Is it still design that we’re doing or is it simply using the designer’s toolkit?

It was sometime in the Spring of 2002 that I was looking for a metaphorical space that would accommodate me – an engineer, an MBA, with graduate product design education and the sensibilities and eye of a designer. I’d spent the year on a Heinz Foundation Fellowship after my MBA to train with Dr Chris […]

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Understanding Delegation

Less than 10 days ago, I was faced with an unusual problem, one of those which they say are good problems to have.  I found I’d reached the point in my process of development where I had to choose between the perspective held over from a past life along with the skills honed therein, where […]

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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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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 […]

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

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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Exploratory User Research to Inform and Inspire Innovation Frontiers: Nokia’s legacy

Swedberg (2020) offers a glimpse of the legacy of an exploratory approach to research. The reasons for using such an approach, based on his analysis, are: The empirical situation makes it necessary to use an exploratory approach. Swedberg (2020) gives the example of a study conducted in 1937 by Lazarsfeld & Stouffer on the effects […]

Posted in Design, Design Methodology, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, User research, waymarkers, Work in Progress | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disrupting the Default: Must it fall under “development” if the geography is Africa?

Where does it say that if the geography of the study or innovation or project is in Africa then it must be ‘development’? Is it Tuesday, that it must be Belgium? Will the ‘tyranny of dominant logic’ continue to hold us in thrall regardless of all the massive changes overtaking our world today; including the […]

Posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Analysis, Assumption filter, Design, Innovation Planning, Literature review, Perspective, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

La petite tristesse de le numérique

There do not seem to be the words in English to capture the sense of loss I was experiencing by the time I’d reached the point where I concluded yesterday’s post. I cannot say finished writing it because I was moved by my own recollection of the emotions I’d experienced that I needed to get […]

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