Published on January 9, 2013
Design is hacking how we learn David Sherwin, AIGA Into the Woods 2012 @changeorderphoto 6291481572 by Beggs / CC Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Time for a pop quiz!
Question 1: Can design solve mostof society’s biggest problems?** Be sure to show your work.
Design can solve society’sbiggest problems…
Design can solve society’sbiggest problems…if we cultivate a loveof learning throughthe design process.
Design can solve society’sbiggest problems…if we cultivate a loveof learning throughthe design process.This is a talk about howwe can do this better.
Let’s start by talkingabout survival.
CHALLENGEUnderstand the nature and value ofconnection, and the digital connectionmodels of urban girls in Nairobi.
APPROACHEmpower girls in local girl groups throughexplorer training so they can collaborativelyplan and co-design solutions for their needs.
FOUR WEEKSexplorer training week 1 1 22 33 4 learn skills tell stories imagine possibilities be heard
FOUR WEEKSresearch objectives week 1 2 3 4 FOUNDATIONS FOCUS IDEATION PROTOTYPE girl kick-oﬀ connections co-design evaluation
Week 1: Creating sparks to build friendships
Week 2: Becoming explorers and storytellers
Week 3: Exposing latent creativity and wisdom
Week 4: Encouraging co-leadership and collective action
Future focus: Growing and networking local girl groups
LEARNINGSThe process and the producthad great value to the community.Girls honed practical skills by beingexposed to the design process.Local education systems did not teachgirls how to grow and apply theseskills in a ﬂexible manner to solvea wide range of critical problems.
IVE BEEN SO HAPPY SINCE STARTING THIS PROGRAM OF EXPLORING. I FEELMORE CONFIDENT THANTHE TIME THAT I CAME—I WAS TOO SHY. NOW IMMEETING OTHER GIRLS. I AM HAPPY. Girl Participant, 14
LEARNINGSThere are few substitutes for in-personcommunication when encouraginglocal community problem solving.Technology has great potential to expandeducation’s reach, but we have to start localand analog to achieve scale.Safe spaces—places where girls are“free to try, free to fail”—are criticalfor gaining core problem-solving skills.
Practicing design isempowering.It helps people see theworld in a diﬀerent way—and consider how tochange it for the better.This hacks how we learn.
How weare oftentaught THEORY PRACTICE REFLECTIONThanks to Kristian Simsarian forsharing this model with me.
Howdesignerslearn PRACTICE THEORY TACIT KNOWLEDGE REFLECTIONtake a peek at the70/20/10 modelMichael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichingerand/or Eric Schmidt and others
“Designers have the ability and the training to harnessthe tacit knowledge of the unconscious mind, rather thanbeing limited to working with explicit knowledge. Thismakes them good at synthesizing complex problems withlarge numbers of constraints; It also makes them bad atexplaining or deﬁning what they are doing or thinking.They will describe process and results because they arenot consciously aware of their own rationale.”—Bill Moggridge, rest in peace
Howdesignersanyone PRACTICEcan try THEORYnew modesof learning TACIT KNOWLEDGE REFLECTIONtake a peek at the70/20/10 modelMichael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichingerand/or Eric Schmidt and others
How can I do this inmy community?
How can I do this inmy community?“Design situations that allowequitable solutions to emerge…”—Scott Boylston
How can I do this inmy community?“Design situations that allowequitable solutions to emerge…”—Scott BoylstonHelp people use our toolsindependent of the design processto improve their lives.
Ask better questions by using the 5W’s and an H.(And active listening!)
what What events or actions are happening? who Who is involved? Who helps or gets in the way? why Why is this happening? Why do you feel this way?where Where does this happen?when When does it happen? how How does it happen? How does it aﬀect you?
Know your bias when consideringsomeone else’s needs—and your own.
thousands of sticky notes
Researching other people requires usto apply more rigor to our life decisions.
Questions are also tools that help usfocus where to ideate—and breakrigid patterns of thought.
People are seeking healthierfood and drink in metropolitanand rural areas. WHY? STRATEGYIt’s expensive to constantlyvisit vending machines to reﬁll WHAT’S STANDING INit with fresh foods. OUR WAY?How might we best maintainthe freshness of healthy foodin a vending machine? HOW MIGHT WE?
People are seeking healthierfood and drink in metropolitanand rural areas. WHY? STRATEGYIt’s expensive to constantlyvisit vending machines to reﬁll WHAT’S STANDING INit with fresh foods. OUR WAY? TACTICSHow might we best maintainthe freshness of healthy foodin a vending machine? HOW MIGHT WE?
People are seeking healthierfood and drink in metropolitanand rural areas. WHY? STRATEGYIt’s expensive to constantlyvisit vending machines to reﬁll WHAT’S STANDING INit with fresh foods. OUR WAY? TACTICSHow might we best maintainthe freshness of healthy foodin a vending machine? HOW MIGHT WE? DESIGN
ARTICULATE HOW BY GENERATING IDEATION QUESTIONSHow might we How might we How might we How might webest maintain signal to users procure and create a vendingthe freshness of vending deliver fresh food machine that canof healthy food machines the for inclusion contain differentin a vending freshness of food in vending sizes, shapes,machine? on display? machines in and types of a region? food?How might we How might we How might we How might weaid a vending help a machine most quickly help users seemachine in quick- provide the receive payment what is availablely recognizing appropriate and disburse at a vendingdifferent types climate to products to machine whenof fresh and different types vending machine they are notlocal food? of food? users? present?
Be more eﬀective in how youuse your time to come up with ideasby using timeboxing.
ACT EVALUATE ARTICULATE• what to do • did you do it? • what else needs to be done?• how long you’ll do it • need more time? • how much time will it take?• required output • get the right output? • was output is needed?• desired ﬁdelity • was it the right ﬁdelity? • what ﬁdelity is required?
ACT EVALUATE ARTICULATEcreate low-ﬁ design ideas • did you do it? • what else needs to be done?do it for 10 minutes • need more time? • how much time will it take?at least 8 ideas • get the right output? • was output is needed?words + doodles • was it the right ﬁdelity? • what ﬁdelity is required?on Post-It Notes
ACT EVALUATE ARTICULATEcreate low-ﬁ design ideas low-ﬁ ideas worked, • what else needs to be done?do it for 10 minutes especially the sketches • how much time will it take?at least 8 ideas with corgi puppies— • was output is needed?words + doodles but more ideas with • what ﬁdelity is required?on sticky notes unicorns would help
ACT EVALUATE ARTICULATEcreate low-ﬁ design ideas low-ﬁ ideas worked, add another 5 minutesdo it for 10 minutes especially the sketches add 5 more ideasat least 8 ideas with corgi puppies— ideally more unicornswords + doodles but more ideas with on more sticky noteson sticky notes unicorns would help
ARTICULATE REFLECT ACTdd another 5 minutesdd 5 more ideaseally more unicornsn more sticky notes
20 MINS 40 MINS 60 MINS 80 MINS 100 MINS 120 MINS FINAL CLEAN SKETCHES VISUAL REFINED DESIGN EVALUATE WIREFRAMES THINKING DETERMINE ROUGH APP EVALUATE WIREFRAMES CONTENTBRAINSTORM BIG IDEAS EVALUATE
Don’t let people argue for ideas untileveryone shares their preference.
interactive storybooks about loneliness
Tell a story. Perform a drama. Sing a song.Write it down. Draw your idea. Create a comic.Make a collage. Tinker with discourses.
Tear apart and reassemble your storiesso you can say more with less.
Questions help you unpack howto act on your best ideas.
why Why is this problem happening? who Who can help you ﬁx it?what What skills or materials do you need to solve it?where Where can you go for assistance?when When can you get started? how How might we work together to change it?
Want big change? Keep motivatedby visibly celebrating quick wins.
Team up by creating personalconnections through sharedgoals and values.
Help others identify andshare their superpowers.Apply them in concert.
“Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth,that around every circle another can be drawn…”—Emerson
Design can solve society’sbiggest problems…
Design can solve society’sbiggest problems…If we can help people unlocktheir potential by learningthrough design.
Design can solve society’sbiggest problems…If we can help people unlocktheir potential by learningthrough design.This is good for everyone:families, clients, communities, yourself.
Let’s share our tools with the world.
Download the Collective Action Toolkit: frogdesign.com/cat Say hello: firstname.lastname@example.org davidsherwin.com @changeorder© 2013 frog. All rights reserved.
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