Bringing Life Into Death

The desire to give death meaning is universal. Death allows us to understand that our existence is finite, and this in turn grounds us in our experiences. But despite the advancements humankind has made in the fields of science and technology, death itself remains one of life’s unsolved mysteries. If death has a purpose, what…

The Virtue of Play

"For all the virtues will be present when the one virtue, practical wisdom, is present." In his writings about practical wisdom, Aristotle states that to take the virtuous and ethical action is to achieve the golden mean between two extremes (which he calls “vices”). For instance, acting with courage is virtuous, while having a deficiency…

Fungible Fun: Playing With Your Food

If you sometimes eat gluten-free without having a gluten allergy, or occasionally forgo that burger for a vegan meal option, you are engaging in dietary play. If you took it upon yourself to learn about the ketogenic, Whole30, or paleo diets and don’t actually follow any of them, yet still try to eat fewer carbs,…

Leveraging Leisure

We constantly search for purpose and meaning in our lives. All too often, we look to our jobs and workplaces to provide this sense of self. However, as technology is progressing, things are becoming more automated, and worker alienation is spreading across the labor market, we are expanding our search for meaning beyond the workplace.…

No More Time Outs: An Exploration of Playful Parenting

How Playful Parenting Is Reinventing the Parent-Child Relationship Parenting styles have always varied. Strict or lenient, hovering or independent – regardless of which way a parent bends, by integrating elements of play into their approach, they can step up their parenting game and make the menial seem more meaningful. The future of parenting may lie…

Feelings at Play

Finding Radiant and Radical Ways to Be Present With Cancer You’re diagnosed with cancer for the second time in your thirties. You have two young children under the age of five. You’re an entrepreneur in a physically demanding industry. You work with people whose livelihood depends on your creative vision. Rendered motionless by the terminal…

Diagrams of Power: Exploring Inconvenient Truths

Diagrams of Power is an ongoing exhibit at Onsite Gallery, the flagship professional gallery of OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. Onsite Gallery is treated as an experimental curatorial platform for art, design, and new media – an ideal space for Diagrams of Power. Curated by Patricio Dávila, the collection of works pushes the envelope around what…

The Role of the Ritual

When we build insights, we are trying
 to elevate something that has been observed during anthropological fieldwork into something that has profound meaning for the design process and allows us to identify problems that can be addressed as we build a product or service. This is not always easy, because people are often looking for…

From Entertainment to Experience

No longer shrouded by the stigma of nerdiness, today’s comic conventions are more than just a place where adults gather to play dress-up or meet their real-life superheroes – they’re where the future of entertainment unfolds. Drawing hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed nerds, as well as the companies who court them as customers, comic conventions…

Understanding Body Politics in Retail and Fashion

In retail, fashion, or even wearable tech spaces, it’s easy for designers and design researchers
to focus either on the technical innovations of fabrics and clothing, or on the aesthetic and expressive aspects of a garment. Innovation in these spaces largely focuses on the created object and its production, rather than the cultural consumption of the…

Designing a New Class of Luxury

An Intimate Look at the Dorchester Collection Hotel Group Resting in the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, sits what many believe to be the world’s oldest hotel – Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan. Established in 705 AD on the banks of a natural hot spring, its foundational magnetism came from healing and relaxing baths that, over the…

On the Origins of Progress

What do we mean when we use the word “progress”? How do we track progress? What drives progress? What is it that actually progresses? We all know what the word means, but I challenge you to answer these questions to your own satisfaction, let alone anyone else’s. Our collective inability to do so demonstrates the…