One of my students, Rob, just sent me a link to this video on how the design of the stop sign is ruined by a bad creative process -- unfortunately, this parody resembles the process in far too many organizations and teams that try to do creative work in real organizations. It is funny but disturbing. He saw this in Tina Seelig's class, who teaches a fantastic class on the creative process. This video brought to mind three things:
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Entries in Design (37)
The past few days, I have heard buzzwords being tossed around surrounding the issue of sustainable design. Words like LEED, low impact development, walkable communities, etc. These are great words. Wonderful, powerful words. But what do they mean to the average Civil Engineer today? Not a whole lot. These words remind me of giving a visualization demo for Civil 3D. Everyone gets excited. Everyone loves it. Everyone nods, claps, smiles and says its cool. But nobody sees how they can make it work in their office, for their clients, given their constraints. So they leave happy that they saw a great show, but business proceeds as normal. A year or two ago, we felt like superheroes. We were in demand. We patted ourselves on the back for being so insightful when we majored in Civil Engineering or studied CAD. In my neck of the woods, talent salaries were moving higher and faster than starter homes prices. Anyone with a P.E. and an entrepreneurial spirit was breaking off and hanging their own shingle. It was a golden time.
Click here tofind out more!If you're reading this article sitting down—the position we all hold more than any other, for an average of 8.9 hours a day—stop and take stock of how your body feels. Is there an ache in your lower back? A light numbness in your rear and lower thigh? Are you feeling a little down? These symptoms are all normal, and they're not good. They may well be caused by doing precisely what you're doing—sitting. New research in the diverse fields of epidemiology, molecular biology, biomechanics, and physiology is converging toward a startling conclusion: Sitting is a public-health risk. And exercising doesn't offset it. "People need to understand that the qualitative mechanisms of sitting are completely different from walking or exercising," says University of Missouri microbiologist Marc Hamilton. "Sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little. They do completely different things to the body."
In the last few decades, technology has encouraged our fascination with perfection — whether it's six sigma manufacturing, the zero-contaminant clean room, or in its simplest form, " 2.0." Given the new uncertainty in the world however, I can see that it is time to question this approach — of over-technologized, over-leveraged, over-advanced living. The next big thing? Dirty hands. Let me explain. A couple weeks ago I spoke at Tim O'Reilly's Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco to a packed audience of tech-savvy talent. The most interesting moment of the conference for me happened in the green room. While my fellow speakers were busily checking their email and tuning their presentations, I found a small audience of young innovative technologists who were curious about my recent change in coordinates from the MIT Media Lab to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Design thinking, as a concept, has been slowly evolving and coalescing over the past decade. One popular definition is that design thinking means thinking as a designer would, which is about as circular as a definition can be. More concretely, Tim Brown of IDEO has written that design thinking is “a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.”  A person or organization instilled with that discipline is constantly seeking a fruitful balance between reliability and validity, between art and science, between intuition and analytics, and between exploration and exploitation. The design-thinking organization applies the designer’s most crucial tool to the problems of business. That tool is abductive reasoning. Don’t feel bad if you’re not familiar with the term.