Getting Crypto-Chic

The Playful Design Futures of Cryptocurrencies Design in finance isn’t trendy. It rarely embraces risk, fads, or even asymmetry. Design that has anything to do with money or the economy is the design of integrity. Whether it’s for a bank logo or the dollar bills in our pocket, the goal of this design is to…

Making Work Play or Making Play Work

The Tom Sawyer Approach Some adults tend to think of play as something for children; for busy grownups with more important things to do, play is a waste of time. But in my experience as a designer and entrepreneur, the opposite is true. Incorporating play into the workplace is an excellent way to solve problems…

Robot-Centered Design

The Future of User-Centered Design Has a New Kind of Stakeholder You’re a designer. You create products, experiences, services, buildings, and more. Each time you begin the design process, you consider the multitude
 of touchpoints and features of your design and how they will engage with your intended user. This is the logic of the…

I Design, Therefore I Am

(With Apologies to René Descartes)   As a university freshman, I studied philosophy. One of the first thinkers we studied was Aristotle, and for one of the first assignments we had was to answer the question, “Was Aristotle right in saying that the only thing that separates humans from animals is our ability to reason?”…

Thinking Design Thinking, One More Time

This is an updated version of an article 
I wrote in 2007 while waiting for a flight. I think it is time to revisit and update 
this article, as “design thinking” is in a very different state today than it was
 10 years ago, with organizations practicing it to different degrees of maturity. Before my…

Odile Decq and the Romance of Disagreement

Odile Decq is an award-winning French architect and urban planner, with an innate ability to bring together multiple disciplines and trains of thought to produce highly sophisticated designs. Since her first major commission for La Banque Populaire de l'Ouest in Rennes, France, she has become a radical voice in architecture research, being awarded The Golden…

If You Build It, They Will Care

Designing Empathetic Spaces and Objects 
for the Future of Caregiving “There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings, and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.” —Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924 “It doesn’t
 make you…

Inclusive Design: An Interview with Dr. Dori Tunstall

Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University and the first black dean of a faculty of design anywhere, is not your typical design leader.
 Dr. Tunstall, who comes to her current work with a PhD in anthropology, has a history of founding and participating in initiatives that strive to decolonize…

The Principles of Design

Four Elements to Make Your Product More Relevant Over the past 20 years, I’ve had experiences or offered services within a wide range of jobs. My first taxable income came from working for McDonald’s in Schertz, Texas, just north of my high school on I-35. From there, I went onto selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, working…

What is Sound Design?

Sound design is the art and practice of creating, collecting, adapting, and producing audio elements. Like any other type of design, sound design is a process that involves turning an idea into an outcome. What makes sound design different are the tools used in that process. Whereas a graphic designer’s toolkit includes typography, images, and…