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Search results for 'thackara'
25 May 2009

John Thackara on clean growth

Clean Growth
Design Innovation Scotland has published a white paper by John Thackara, entitled Clean Growth: From Mindless Development to Design Mindfulness.

It’s the first in a series whose aim is “to stimulate thought and debate about…radical solutions to real-world challenges”. The intended readers are regional economic development professionals and policy makers.

1 April 2009

Videos of presentations by Dan Saffer, Robert Fabricant and John Thackara

Francoise Bourdonnec
I just posted three videos of the recent Interaction09 conference on Core77:

Dan Saffer – Attention Awareness for Interaction Designers 2009
Dan Saffer calls out the Interaction Design community for allowing distracting topics to consume our attention, and for paying too little attention to “moonwalking bears,” the opportunities interaction designers can take advantage of in the near future.

Robert Fabricant – Behavior is our Medium
Robert Fabricant talks about Interaction Design as a practice beyond just computing technology. He gives examples of Interaction Design as far back as ancient history, all the way to a humanitarian project underway today. He shows that Interaction Design’s primary medium is behavior, extending far past the high technology world into the realm of human behavior and relationships.

John Thackara – Designing for Business as Unusual
John Thackara shows the ways in which business as we know it are about to change for good, and then identifies how interaction designers can take these challenges on as design problems.

3 July 2007

Business Week on John Thackara’s sustainable design approach and what business is learning from it

Dott07
“With Dott07, John Thackara looks at daily life as a design opportunity and tackles social issues in small doses,” writes Helen Walters in Business Week.

Working at the intersection of business, technology, sustainability, and design, the former journalist, educator, and director of the Netherlands Design Institute is in the business of meshing innovations that drive social change with design.

As the director of design futures network Doors of Perception, and program director of Dott07, an ambitious, year-long initiative to establish a sustainable region in cities throughout the northeast of England, Thackara is at the forefront of the flourishing sustainable design movement. And as far as he’s concerned, the right question to be asking is, “What might a sustainable world look like?” with a prompt follow-up, “What sort of design actions can we take to get there?”

The author underlines how the project is “rooted in reality rather, and have a purpose other than high-falutin’ idealism,” and how important it is that it is taking place in the struggling, post-industrial northeast of England. “Such willful parochialism is almost unheard of in Britain, where the focus is almost always trained on glamorous London (in the south), or trendy cities such as Liverpool or Manchester, which have embarked on determined, relatively successful rebranding exercises in recent years.” Walters also underlines how Thackara strives for a true collaboration network approach.

Taking a hat tip from one of the people interviewed in the article who says about Thackara that “he is never about the world of design, but always about the design of the world,” Walters then expands her analysis with a long reflection on sustainability and business.

- Read full story
View slideshow

13 June 2007

John Thackara on designing with people to address climate change

Windpower
John Thackara, programme director of Dott 07 (and featured this week in Business Week as a top cutting-edge designer) shares his opinion on design and sustainability in this month’s edition of Blueprint Magazine.

“As designers, are we guilty of killing the planet? Eighty percent of the environmental impact of the products and buildings that surround us is determined at the design stage, after all. The ways we have designed the world force most people to waste stupendous quantities of matter and energy in their daily lives. Playing the blame game is pointless. Yes, humanity has trashed the biosphere by design – but the best way to redeem ourselves is to become part of the solution. […]

[We need] to wise up to the fact that there’s a truly gigantic design opportunity here. Someone has to redesign the structures, institutions and processes that drive the economy. Someone has to transform the material, energy and resource flows that, left unchecked, will finish us. […]

Transformation on this scale won’t happen if we approach it top-down. In Dott 07 in North East England, we are not telling people to behave sustainably. We are designing, with them, more sustainable ways to organise daily life – ways that bring material benefit in the immediate term. Our idea is that if these small steps succeed, even in part, then others can quickly follow suit, better and faster. This way, governments can focus on removing obstacles to change, rather than try to lead it from the top.

Dott 07 is not about traditional design. We don’t design artefacts at all unless they are a necessary part of a sustainable solution. We don’t design communication campaigns telling people how to be green. We’re spending very modestly on our big festival, in October, where the focus is mainly on people, not things.

We’re doing a lot of design, but we’re doing it with the people of the North East, not for them.

Read full story

20 December 2005

John Thackara lecture on solidarity economics & design: life after consumerism

Thackara_portraithome
Last week John Thackara, director of Doors of Perception and author of In the bubble: designing in a complex world, lectured at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) on Solidarity economics and design: life after consumerism.

The word ‘development’ implies that we advanced people in the North have the right or even obligation to help backward people in the South to ‘catch up’ with our own advanced condition. No, it doesn’t make sense. The concept of development is further devalued by the impoverished but destructive mindset of economics. The North’s purse strings are clutched by people who define development narrowly in terms of growth, jobs and productivity – and ignore broader measures of sustainability and well-being.

A renewed sensitivity to context, and to social relationships, is a key aspect of the transition from mindless development to design mindfulness. But even this new approach can be a mixed blessing. One b-school professor now talks about “harvesting lifestyles”. By what right do we swan around distant cities capturing information about people’s lives?

If we are to exchange value – rather than just take it, or act like cultural tourists – what do we have to offer? One contribution is that fresh eyes can reveal hidden value and thus mobilise otherwise neglected or hidden local resources. Visiting designers can act like mirrors, reflecting things about a situation that local people no longer notice or value. Shamefully, too many visiting designers promise
local people they will do this, but never get around to sharing their conclusions and documentation.

Click here to download the first half of the lecture (25 mb)

Click here to download the second half of the lecture (24 mb)

Click here to download the question and answer session after the lecture (40 mb)

Click here to download an edited version of the lecture as a podcast (29 mb)

8 December 2005

John Thackara reflecting on a brand new UK report on creativity in business

Cox_review
The [just published] Cox Review of Creativity in Business has been eagerly awaited by the design industry. Many creatives in the UK (as in other industrialised countries) fondly believe that while manufacturing and call centres may emigrate to cheaper countries, their brand of ‘creativity’ is immune. They expected the Cox Review to confirm this warm and cosy feeling. Instead, it will feel more like bucket of cold water.

“The model of the UK becoming an all-service economy, the world’s leading repository of professional skills, is enormously appealing – and totally unrealistic” writes Cox. “The now rapidly advancing developing economies have no desire to remain as suppliers of cheap, low-skilled labour to the world. And indeed, why should they?”

- Read full post by John Thackara
Read related post by Dan Hill in City of Sound

30 August 2005

John Thackara voicing doubts again on EU research priorities

Doorsheader_1
The European Commission has published a new plan, called i2010 for ‘the completion of a Single European Information Space’.

The Commission proposes an 80% increase in funding for ICT research focused on areas where Europe has recognised strengths: nano-electronics, embedded systems, communications, and ‘emerging areas such as web-services and cognitive systems’.

Now you probably knew, but I did not, that Europe is a leader in cognitive systems. To be frank, I had no idea what they are, or do. So I checked them out.

Read full post

24 August 2005

Koolhaas and Thackara discussing design and globalisation at London’s V&A

 
Rem Koolhaas, Founder and Director, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, and John Thackara, Director, Doors of Perception, will be the keynote speakers at the 2005 Global Design Critical Debate on design and globalisation at London’s V&A Museum on Friday 14 October 2005.

In the 21st century, design appears to have become a truly global art form. This Critical Debate takes a closer look at design, the nature of globalisation and how the two spheres interrelate, and raises a number of pertinent questions. Is design contributing to the more positive effects of globalisation, or does the design industry simply chase commercial opportunities and devise better products to serve an international elite? What happens to local identity in global design culture? Have today’s global design hotspots migrated East to Bangalore and Shanghai or are London, Milan, Rotterdam and New York still home to the questions and the answers that push contemporary design forever onward?

Read full announcement

2 August 2005

John Thackara critisises the EU’s “tech first” approach

Doorsheader
John Thackara, director of Doors of Perception, just posted a critical comment on how the EU’s innovation and research programmes put an emphasis on tech rather than on people.

For instance, the EU’s Information Society Technologies programme contains, according to Thackara, “a lot of tech but not much soc”. Thackara points out that, despite the programme’s intention to ‘address the main European societal challenges’, “the advisory group that interprets that statement, ISTAG, consists wholly of Big Tech and Big Research interests” and that “proposals that don’t put tech at their centre have little chance of success”.

Thackara finishes his comment by advocating a more inspiring approach that locates “technology within a range of new ways to organise our daily lives” and not make “tech the starting point”.

Read full post

8 June 2005

John Thackara: “Interaction Ivrea morphing”

Theinstitute362x119_1
In his June Doors of Perception e-mail newsletter, John Thackara comments on the move of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea to Milan:

“A brutal policy change by its main sponsor, Telecom Italia, has forced Interaction Design Institute Ivrea to move to Milan and effectively merge with Domus Academy. The two organisations describe the move stoically as “a great opportunity for growth”, but the fact remains that the Ivrea team will be broken up and funding for the combined entity drastically reduced. Telecom’s decision is short-sighted and represents a stupendous destruction of value: It is breaking up a hub, five years in the making, for a new community of practice in a subject area strategically crucial for telecoms.

Read newsletter

8 June 2005

John Thackara’s “In The Bubble”

In_the_bubble
We’re filling up the world with technology and devices, but we’ve lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World.

Read book summary

2 November 2014

A constructionist approach to behaviour change and the Internet of Things

findalternativeroute

Dan Lockton just posted an essay on how to enable social and environmental behaviour change by using IoT-type technologies for practical co-creation and constructionist public engagement. It got him immediately some Sunday morning Twitter commentary from Bruce Sterling and John Thackara – to which he reacted – which no doubt will massively increase the readership of his piece.

“IoT technology and the ecosystems around it could enable behaviour change for social and environmental sustainability in a wide range of areas, from energy use to civic engagement and empowerment. But the systems need to be intelligible, for people to be engaged and make the most of the opportunities and possibilities for innovation and progress.

They need to be designed with people at the heart of the process, and that means designing with people themselves: practical co-creation, and constructionist public engagement where people can explore these systems and learn how they work in the context of everyday life rather than solely in the abstract visions of city planners and technology companies.”

See also: Internet of Things will transform life, but experts fear for privacy and personal data (by Steve Johnson in the Mercury News)

15 April 2013

Does design thinking address quick fixes at the expense of root causes?

thestanforddaily

Does design thinking address quick fixes at the expense of root causes, asks John Thackara, referring to “Why the d.school has its limits,” a provocative article in The Stanford Daily by Danny Buerkli, a Swiss Fulbright student at Stanford University:

“Like any method, design thinking structures how you approach and conceptualize a problem. The way the method is currently taught, however, preordains the result.

The answer to any problem unfailingly is a product or a service. Some problems are indeed best solved with a product or a service. Yet other problems need systemic solutions (e.g. political action).”

21 August 2012

The first Informal Economy Symposium in Barcelona – October 12, 2012

THEIEECONOMY7

HOW WILL the informal economy impact the global business landscape?

The landscape of the Informal Economy is vast – from street vending to P2P networks, from piracy to ad-hoc businesses – it is the fastest growing sector of both emerging and developed markets. In fact, the global informal sector has been growing even in the face of economic recession.

  • If the global informal economy were a country, its GDP would be on the order of $10 trillion a year, which would make it the second largest economy on earth after the United States.
  • In Europe the informal sector amounts for 20% of the annual GDP. In developing countries in Asia and Africa this can go up to between 25 to 40%.
  • 1.8 billion of the total working force of the world – that means half of it – works in informal economy. This ratio is predicted to be 2/3 by 2020.
  • In countries like India, the ratio of informal workers can go up to 85% of the total working force.

This means that now is a critical moment for businesses to investigate the scope of the informal economy, and the challenges and opportunities it poses for them.

THE FIRST Informal Economy Symposium in Barcelona: October 12, 2012

A group of thinkers and doers, engaged in a variety of projects that challenge conventional views of the informal economy, are gathering for a day of keynotes and panels in Barcelona. Drawing inspiration from street-level ingenuity, alternative currencies, P2P networks, copy-cat innovation, crowdsourcing and other drivers in the informal economy, the symposium seeks to better understand the relationship between informal commercial practices and formal economic structures. A better understanding of this relationship is the first step towards new business models, innovation approaches, and collaborations within, across, and between the formal and informal.

Visit the Informal Economy website.

Confirmed speakers include

10 June 2012

Manifesto for design upholding human talents and innovation

bigpotatoes

This morning I got an invite in the mail to attend a London design symposium at Brunel University next week (16 June) that will debate the core themes of a new design manifesto, strangely called “Big Potatoes”

Although I cannot attend the debates at such short notice, the manifesto itself and the themes of the debate are intriguing enough to merit this blog post.

The manifesto is written by six authors – Nico Macdonald, Alan Patrick, Martyn Perks, Mitchell Sava, James Woudhuysen and Norman Lewis. Unfortunately it is not so clear what the manifesto actually says – it will be officially presented at the London Symposium – but you get some background by looking at the fourteen principles who are explored in depth on the Big Potatoes website:

01: Think big
02: The post-war legacy
03: Principles not models
04: For useless research
05: Hard work
06: Expect failures
07: Chance and surprise
08: Take risks
09: Leadership
10: Whose responsibility?
11: Trust the people
12: Think/Act Global
13: We know no limits
14: For humanity

The debate on 16 June is quite provocative as well:

DEBATE#1: UPHOLDING HUMANISM – OR CENTERING ON USERS?
Design is intimately bound up with understanding people. Every designer extols the virtues of getting to know customers, users, people. However, can being too close to your subject stifle creativity? Today this question has added relevance and is at the heart of our manifesto. As at no other time, the collective and individual will of human beings is felt to be little rival to the capricious actions of Fate.

The human ability to take a conscious risk, in the pursuit of innovation, used to be the fundamental premise of design. But now designers join with other cynics in agreeing that people are for the most part driven by nature, neurology, ostentation and irrationality. That can only degrade the processes and the products of design.

The old discussion was about people as market segments with latent needs – people who were held to be in a ‘relationship’ with product or service providers. More and more, however, the rhetoric today consists of how design can work to minimise demand, redirect consumption, and even improve patterns of human behaviour.

Is it the role of design to understand and change people’s behaviour, or is design about producing ideas that allow people to make their own minds up on how they choose to use it? Likewise, should design strive to exceed expectations by going beyond people’s immediate needs, or must it be mindful of how people might use stuff, encouraging greater responsibility and awareness to ourselves and even the planet? And even where people do adapt existing things to better suit their needs – should we celebrate such amateurism, or instead prefer the expertise designers can bring, expertise that can raise people’s horizons further still?

DEBATE#2: DOES DESIGN DRIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH?
What is design’s contribution to economic growth? This question has for a long time been intimately bound up with discussions about design’s purpose — even more so since New Labour sought to trumpet the contribution made by the so-called ‘creative industries’ to UK plc. Because of the credit crunch, the precise effects that design has on wealth creation have become more pertinent than ever. Both the state and many design industry professionals feel that design needs to justify its contribution.

Economic growth is a key issue for our manifesto, not least because designers have been poor at theorising their relationship with innovation. In our view, design could do more to promote and implement scientific and technological advance. At the moment design often fails to grasp the opportunity presented by innovation – by being too focused on surface, incremental improvements. That can mean it ends up being marginalised as a result.

The problem with design and growth runs much deeper than rates of remuneration, royalties, intellectual property and all the rest. It is impossible to put a value on design without clarifying and improving the role designers play with regard to innovation. Can designers, by themselves, stimulate economic growth by creating new demand through the design of new products and services? Or are such products and services best realised when designers link up closely with scientific and technological innovation? Conversely, is design’s real role less about creating new growth per se, and more about persuading people to consume more through marketing and branding existing products and services?

So you get the gist: this event has a very strong political and pro-growth agenda, while some of the debate descriptions are laced with value judgments (“capricious actions of Fate”, “designers join with other cynics”, “degrade the process and products of design”, “amateurism”, etc.)

A little searching online confirms this first impression, but also adds complexity to it all:

Powerbase, the online wiki-style “guide to networks of power, lobbying, public relations and the communications activities of governments and other interests”, says that the manifesto is associated with the “libertarian anti-environmental LM network” (with LM standing for “Living Marxism”), which itself is an offspring of the RCP (the UK’s Revolutionary Communist Party, disbanded in 1996).

Steven Rose has been exploring the LM Network and writes briefly about it on Spinwatch, “an independent non-profit making UK organisation which monitors the role of public relations and spin in contemporary society”:

“Spinwatch has monitored the groups that have flowed from the RCP, groups we collectively term the ‘LM network’. Moving from an ultra-left position through to a libertarian pro-corporate line of argument, they have been, as Rose notes, strong defenders of what they call ‘scientific progress’, meaning that they have been strongly in favour of GM technology and other scientific advances favoured by transnational corporations. However, they have also taken a strong line against scientific progress in the area of risk. So they are opposed to the scientific consensus on climate change, on harms caused by tobacco and by the food and advertising industries.

The common denominator there is that this kind of scientific progress is against the interests of key corporate sectors. Spinwatch has also recently reported on how their traditional ‘anti-Imperialist’ position on colonial struggles has degenerated into a position that attacks those offering solidarity to the Palestinian people. Overall, what we see from the very earliest days of the RCT to the antics of the various tentacles of the LM network now, is consistent in the sense that it involves attacking the left and progressive movements. However, the increasingly close relationship between the LM network and corporate lobby groups and neoliberal and neoconservative think tanks, suggests that it might be more accurate to see them not as libertarian iconoclasts, but simply as another faction of the British conservative movement.”

I am not convinced that the above politicising of the design debate is the best way forward. It just makes our discipline another battleground of a wider culture clash, whereas I see design more as a problem solving tool. I also disagree with their deep faith in the power of economic growth, but leave it to brighter minds – like John Thackara and others – to develop this criticism.

UPDATE: John commented here and here.

5 March 2012

Book: The Transition Companion

transitioncompanion

The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times
by Rob Hopkins
Chelsea Green Pub Co, November 2011
320 pages

Abstract

In 2008, the bestselling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from universities and London neighbourhoods to Italian villages and Brazilian favelas. There are now hundreds of Transition towns and Transition initiatives around the world. In contrast to the ever-worsening stream of information about climate change, the economy and resource depletion, the Transition movement focuses on solutions, on community-scale projects and on positive results.

The Transition Companion picks up the story today, describing one of the most fascinating experiments now under way in the world. It answers the question ‘What is Transition?’ and shows how communities are working for a future where local enterprises are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where cooperation, creativity and the building of resilience are the cornerstones of a new economy.

In the first part of the book author and Transition movement co-founder Rob Hopkins discusses where we are now in terms of resilience to the problems of rising oil prices, climate change and economic uncertainty. He presents a vision of how the future might look if we succeed in addressing these issues. Rob Hopkins then looks in detail at the process a community in transition goes through, drawing on the experience of those who have already embarked on this journey. These examples show how much can be achieved when people harness energy and imagination to create projects that will make their communities more resilient. The Transition Companion combines practical advice – the tools needed to start and maintain a Transition initiative – with numerous inspiring stories from local groups worldwide.

Review by John Thackara

“One of the many virtues of this awesome and joysome book is that the word “strategic” does not appear until page 272; a section on “policies” has to wait until page 281. It’s not that the book is hostile to high altitude thinking; on the contrary, its pages are scattered with philosophical asides on everything from Buddhist thinking and backcasting, to time banking and thermodynamics. But the rational and the abstract are given their proper, modest, place.

The book is filled with incredibly handy short texts about issues that confuse many of us. What, for example, are we to think of Community Supported Agriculture? Is it enough to sign up to a vegetable box scheme – and find the resulting service inflexible and irritating? Maybe yes and maybe no, writes Hopkins. For him, our relationship with the people who grow our food should be shaped by four key principles (page 268): “shared risk; transparency; community benefits; and building resilience”. Within that framework, the details are down to us.”

20 September 2011

Transform Conference at Mayo Clinic (videos)

Transform 2011
A week ago Mayo Clinic — the world’s largest and first integrated nonprofit medical practice — hosted the Transform symposium in Rochester, Minn., USA.

The event focused on innovations and designing solutions to transform the experience and delivery of health care.

Videos of most of presentations are now online. Speakers are listed here in the order of the presentation schedule.

 
SESSION: DESIGNING SOLUTIONS

Opening [18:26] by John Hockenberry
Journalist and Commentator
Four-time Peabody Award winner and four-time Emmy Award winner John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than three decades. Currently, Hockenberry is host of the live public radio morning news program “The Takeaway,” produced by Public Radio International and WNYC New York. He is a former anchor for MSNBC and correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and National Public Radio. He has been a regular commentator for “The Infinite Mind” radio program on mental health issues and host of the four-part Public Broadcasting Service documentary “Remaking American Medicine.”

Design for social impact [11:26] by William Drenttel
Director, Winterhouse Institute, and Publisher, Design Observer
William Drenttel is a partner at Winterhouse, a design practice in northwest Connecticut that focuses on online publishing, health care and education, and design programs of social impact. He is the publisher and editorial director of Design Observer, the leading international website about design, urbanism, social innovation and visual culture.

“Prove it” kills innovation [19:57] by Roger Martin
Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Martin writes extensively for newspapers and magazines, including Financial Times, BusinessWeek, Washington Post, Fast Company and The Globe & Mail. For Harvard Business Review, he has written 11 articles and authors a regular blog. His books include The Responsibility Virus (2002), The Opposable Mind (2007), The Design of Business (2009), and the forthcoming Fixing the Game (May 2011), plus two books co-authored with Mihnea Moldoveanu, The Future of the MBA (2008) and Diaminds (2009). In 2010, he was named by BusinessWeek as one of the 27 most influential designers in the world. The previous year, The Times (of London) and Forbes.com included him as one of the 50 top management thinkers in the world (#32).

Small x Many [18.10] by David Webster
Partner at IDEO, Global Health & Wellness Practice Lead
David Webster knows from experience that design thinking can massively improve the health care ecosystem for patients, professionals and organizations. He is inspired by the rapid escalation of technologies and a new generation of colleagues who are looking to create meaningful impact in the field. He sees a broad range of opportunities for innovation, from advancing surgical tools to developing consumer brands that make healthful eating irresistible.

Designing Solutions: Through the Patient’s Eyes [22:53] by Chris Hacker
Chief Design Officer, Global Strategic Design Office, Johnson & Johnson Group of Consumer Companies
Hacker’s passion is bringing awareness to designers of their power in the business world to make sustainable design a key paradigm of design process and, therefore, make the products and materials produced more ecologically friendly to the planet.

Hanky Pancreas [07:06] by Jessica Floeh
Designer
Jessica Floeh, a human-centered designer and 2010 graduate of Parsons The New School For Design, began Hanky Pancreas™ during her master’s thesis, addressing a theme of design, technology, and the human condition. For her research, she focused on the socio-psychological impact of wearable diabetes technologies and worked with a group of women with diabetes in New York. Through them, she was inspired to create designs that would ignite conversation and support in everyday environments.

 
SESSION: CORPORATE CREATIVITY

Changing The Way People Eat [17:29] by Dondeena Bradley, Ph.D.
Vice President, Global Design and Development, Nutrition Ventures PepsiCo
Designing and developing holistic solutions that target the special nutritional needs of consumers who have diverse health issues, such as obesity and diabetes.

Mastering Work [18:53] by James Hackett
President and Chief Executive Officer, Steelcase Inc.
James Hackett is president and chief executive officer and director of Steelcase Inc., the global leader in the office furniture industry. Steelcase delivers a better work experience to its customers by providing products, services and insights into the ways people work. Its portfolio includes architecture, furniture and technology products.

Who was the Shooter’s Doctor? Away from Episodes of Care [21:11] by Paul Grundy, M.D., M.P.H., FACOEM, FACPM
Director, IBM Healthcare Transformation
An active social entrepreneur and speaker on global health care transformation, Dr. Grundy is focused on comprehensive, linked, and integrated health care and the concept of the Patient Centered Medical Home.

Discussion about the role of design in a tech-driven healthcare company [32:25] with Beth Comstock and Bob Schwartz
Respectively Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Global Design, GE
Beth Comstock leads the company’s organic growth and commercial innovation initiatives, and the sales, marketing and communications functions. She is responsible for the GE-wide business platforms ecomagination, devoted to reducing environmental impact with new technology, and healthymagination, focused on achieving sustainable health through innovation by lowering costs, improving quality and reaching more people.
Bob Schwartz is responsible for overseeing the Global Design function encompassing human factors, industrial design, ergonomics, and user interface and design research. As a strategic driver of business growth, his team focuses on the look, feel, usability and end-to-end experience of GE Healthcare (GEHC) products and services.

 
SESSION: RABBLE ROUSERS

Connective Tissue: What’s a designer to do? [33:24] by Allan Chochinov
Partner and Editor in Chief, Core77; Chair, MFA Products of Design, SVA
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Integrative Innovation [15:21] by Halle Tecco
Founder and Managing Director, RockHealth
RockHealth is the first seed-accelerator devoted exclusively to health apps. Tecco recognized the need and potential for startups in the interactive health space while working at Apple’s App Store covering the health and medical vertical.

Hello Health [28:47] by Jay Parkinson
Physician and Co-founder of Hello Health
Instead of pills and scalpels, Jay Parkinson, M.D., M.P.H., uses creative design to improve health. He is a pediatrician and preventive medicine specialist with a master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. Dr. Parkinson appreciates aesthetics, our rapidly changing culture, and our health. And he straddles lines: Both pop culture and traditional health care have embraced his ideas. He is a partner in The Future Well, which creates engaging experiences that inspire health and happiness.

Health Leads [21:51] by Rebecca Onie
Co-founder of Health Leads
Last year, Health Leads trained and mobilized a corps of 660 college volunteers serving nearly 6,000 low-income patients and their families in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence, R.I. and Washington, D.C.

Design at the Mayo Center for Innovation [23:43] by Lorna Ross
Creative Lead and Manager, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation Design Team
Lorna Ross has 16 years’ experience working in design and design research, with the past nine years focused on health and health care. She is a graduate of The Royal College of Art, London.

 
SESSION: COMMUNITY INTERVENTIONS

Cultural Co-Morbidities [23:12] by John Thackara
Writer, educator and design producer
At Transform 2011, John will share with us the story of two projects he commissioned in the UK: Alzheimer 100 which is about the collaborative design of services to support caregivers; and DaSH [Design and Sexual Health] whose focus is on distributed Peer-to-Peer health information exchange. He will describe what happened as these two live prototypes impacted on the larger health and policy ecology.

The ECHO Project [17:07] by Sanjeev Arora, M.D., FACP, FACG
Director of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)
Dr. Arora developed the Project ECHO model as a platform for service delivery, education and evaluation. Using video-conferencing technology and case-based learning, primary care providers from rural and underserved areas and prisons are trained and mentored by ECHO’s medical specialists to deliver best-practice management of complex health conditions in their communities or correctional institutions. A key component of the ECHO model is an innovation known as Knowledge Networks, in which the expertise of a single specialist is shared with numerous primary providers through telehealth clinics, thereby increasing access to care in rural areas without having to recruit, retain and fund additional providers.

Overshooting the moon [32:06] by Joseph Kolars, M.D.
Professor of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives University of Michigan Medical School
Joseph Kolars obtained his M.D. degree in 1982 from the University of Minnesota Medical School, pursued internal medicine training in Minneapolis, and completed postgraduate training in gastroenterology at the University of Michigan in 1989. At the University of Michigan he oversees the associate deans responsible for the education programs, as well as global health initiatives for the medical school. Over the past four years, much of his work has focused on innovations that strengthen education systems to improve care in Africa and China.

Empowering Architecture [24:34] by Michael Murphy
Executive Director, MASS Design Group
Michael Murphy co-founded the MASS Design Group in 2008. Murphy’s firm led the design and construction of the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, which opened in January 2011.

Food Oasis [05:17] by John Crowley
Director, Engineering Group, MAYA
Crowley led the MAYA team that created FoodOasis, an end-to-end platform for closing the gap on healthy, affordable food. The FoodOasis solution focused on a critical consumer need and developed a complete solution to benefit consumers, providers and communities. MAYA believes that the challenges in health care today can only be addressed with a similar, systems-level approach that focuses on the deep, real-world challenges of consumers to drive toward business and public-sector innovation.

 
SESSION: INSPIRING HEALTH

Creating Consumers in Healthcare [19:13] by Dawn M. Owens
Chief Executive Officer, OptumHealth
Dawn Owens is chief executive officer of OptumHealth, a UnitedHealth Group business and one of the nation’s largest health and wellness companies. She leads nearly 11,000 employees in delivering information, tools and solutions that people use to navigate the health care system, finance health care needs and achieve their wellness goals.

Meet the Patient [19:34] by Gianna Marzilli Ericson and Augusta Meill
Respectively Senior Strategist Service Design and Vice President, Continuum
Gianna Marzilli Ericson combines expertise in research and design to understand people’s needs, desires and behaviors and to create compelling experiences based on that understanding. She is passionate about improving health sector services and believes wholeheartedly in the power of social science and design to inform each other.
Augusta Meill believes in the power of design to change lives. As a vice president at Continuum, a global design and innovation consultancy, she works with clients to drive business impact by creating experiences that make a real difference for people.

Paths to Resilience [25:49] by Andrew Zolli
Futures Researcher
Andrew Zolli is a futures researcher who studies the complex forces at the intersection of technology, sustainability and global society that are shaping our future. He is the Curator of PopTech, the thought leadership and social innovation network, which has pioneered new programs to train social innovators and scientists; and spurred significant advances in mobile healthcare, education, sustainability, and a number of related fields.

Anatomy of a Tweet [14:25] by Maggie Breslin
Senior Designer/Researcher, Center for Innovation, Mayo Clinic
Maggie Breslin believes strongly that good conversation is a critically important, but largely ignored, component of our health care system and champions this idea whenever she can.

I Like Doctors” [27:11] by Dave deBronkart
Patient Advocate, e-Patient Dave
Dave deBronkart, better known on the Internet as “e-Patient Dave,” may be the leading spokesperson for the e-Patient movement. e-Patients are described as empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled.

23 July 2011

Ten Ways to Redesign Design Competitions

EDF buffet
John Thackara has been a juror on a series of sustainability and design competitions recently. And he has become a bit frustrated.

Most of them, he says, miss their tremendous potential of stimulating fresh thinking, posing new questions, exploring new solutions, starting new conversations, bringing positive energy, fostering connections between people, and motivating diverse group to try and make those outcomes actually happen.

John outlines ten reasons for why that is the case. But, he says, “it’s because design challenges have such an important role in the transition to sustainability that it’s worth improving them, radically.” In that spirit, John also lists ten suggestions of ways to make them better.

Since I have been participating as a juror in a fair number as well (including the EDF Sustainability Challenge that John writes about), I gladly post about this here.

The picture on the left was from the buffet at the EDF award ceremony (click on the picture for a zoomed version). The fact that it had a mini nuclear power station right in the middle (EDF is France’s main energy company), raised many eyebrows and made the guests question what this sustainability event was really about.

Read article

5 August 2010

Design for social change and the museum

Bellagio symposium
From April 12 through April 14, 2010, 22 designers, historians, curators, educators and journalists met at Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center on Lake Como, in Italy, to discuss the museum’s role in the 21st century in relation to design for social change.

Participants (including Paolo Antonelli, Andrew Blauvelt, Allan Chochinov and John Thackara) from a spectrum of institutions in 11 countries engaged in a far-ranging and illuminating conversation.

Design Observer’s William Drenttel and Change Observer’s Julie Lasky have written an extensive report on this symposium sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and organized by Winterhouse Institute.

Here are the key conclusions (copied from the abstract):

  1. The museum can be a collective commons for learning, reflection and critical action, as well as a platform for delivering information and provocation and a stage for learning, social connectedness and critical action. The museum as commons is not only an exhibition space but also a civic arena where people can reflect on the importance and efficacy of social change.
  2. Museums need to move beyond the object so that social design exhibitions are more than concrete displays. In that sense, design should be regarded as a tool for improving life and fostering participatory engagement and social activism.
  3. Museums should be a place where “wicked,” or seemingly intractable social problems of global scope, are addressed — a shared space in which diverse stakeholders can participate in solutions.
  4. The curator’s role may have to evolve and broaden to include skills germane to the complexity of issues around social change and innovation.
  5. Traditional museums can learn from other institutions and organizations that champion design as an agent of social change by stimulating, honoring and publicizing specific achievements on an international platform.

Read report

25 June 2010

Essays on service design in higher education

coten
COTEN, the collaborative online research project exploring service design for higher education in 2010, features some interesting lecture essays:

Small change and re-thinking education (audio)
by Nabeel Hamdi
17 May 2010

Our first Special Guest is Nabeel Hamdi who, in this interview with Andy Polaine, talks about both his approach to development work, which advocates a bottom-up “small change” approach, as well as giving us his insightful views on education, especially the role of designers as catalysts rather than experts. Keywords: change, development, education.
> discussion

Service design education (video)
by Lauren Currie and Sarah Drummond, Snook
21 May 2010

Lauren Currie and Sarah Drummond from Snook give their view on the issues surrounding teaching service design as well as their thoughts on the structure of higher education in this video podcast. Keywords: service design, education, teaching, learning
> discussion

Building a culture of trust (video)
by Arne van Oosterom,
24 May 2010

Arne van Oosterom, owner and Strategic Design Director at DesignThinkers brings us an insightful and entertaining view on Building a Culture of Trust. Arne will be joining us in the Main Studio to discuss his talk and the issues it raises. Keywords: Trust, Culture, Service Design, Design Thinking, Business, Touchpoints
> discussion

Bonfire of the literacies
by John Thackara
7 June 2010

John Thackara on education, service design and the limits of online.
> discussion

Time, co-creation and improvisation
by Liz Danzico, chair and co-founder of the MFA in Interaction Design Program at the School of Visual Arts
9 June 2010

For me at least, the collaboration question is not an easy one. It’s not a matter of talking about how, but of “how good,” and increasingly, “when.” This last consideration, the consideration of time is key. As service designers, collaboration and co-creation — with one another and with our audiences — is increasingly happening in the moment. And that’s both something we can plan for and nothing we can expect. The way we work together must be, to a certain degree, unscripted. There are hundreds of opportunities for us to co-create in one way or another may bring a creative spirit to the work we do. But do we? Can we in a way that’s relevant and meaningful?
> discussion

Tools to encourage behaviour change
by Mary Rose Cook and Zoë Stanton, founders Uscreates
21 June 2010

Uscreates is an agency which empowers the public to help change negative behaviours in their communities. We apply a range of knowledge and approaches drawn from service design, social marketing and behavioural economics to help the public devise strategies and interventions to encourage behaviour change. We are going to use our week hosting the COTEN project to focus on behaviour change and some of the ways in which we use service design processes and methodologies to add value to behaviour change work, and vice versa.
> discussion

Experience, experience, experience: lets get specific
by Ben Reason, co-founder live|work
21 June 2010

Service Design cannot escape talking about experience and experiences. The current and future experiences of people – service customers, clients, users, patients, consumers, etc. – are the context that service design works in.
> discussion