Are you “design”?

What do designers look like to “normal” people, and how does it affect their work’s impact?

“We Got Told To F*** Right Off”


Have you encountered human-centred design before?


Hey, you work in [team name] at [organisation], right?

On-the-tools, on-the-ground workers aren’t often the ones inviting us into their workplaces (although that’s happening more and more, and when they do, the results can be pretty great).

Is it difficult to understand why “design”, when it appears in a workplace, might be resisted, unconsciously or openly, by those whose job it is to Do Their Jobs as opposed to dreaming up exciting “future visions”?


Hey, did I see you in [our organisation]?


I went out with a colleague to interview people in a depressed suburb, and he drove us out there wearing Armani, in a Beemer.

Would we need to drag people if we understood the importance of their work and were clearly “on their side”?


How was the climate change workshop?


Do you need to earn your living? Then you may not be able to turn down the duct-taping, flunky or box-ticker gig that happens along.

  • What, realistically, will we be able to achieve in the time we have? Does it match what our client expects?
  • Do we have enough context (understanding of the situation we are in the middle of) to do the job effectively? What are the political issues between our stakeholders that will affect the outcome?
  • Are we focusing on the middle- and senior manager we need to get “across the line” at the expense of the caregiver or call-centre worker our “future visions” are disturbing — or displacing?
  • Are there ways we can reach out more effectively to stakeholders? Do they understand why we’re in the room? Have we even met them?
  • If we really believe in our own practice, what can we be doing to give its “tools” to our clients so that our “duct-taping” won’t be required by them in future? And are we game to do that?
  • How do we appear to others while doing this job? What does it mean to “look like a designer”? What will the effect be on the results of our work?



David works in service/strategic design: He draws comics at Squishface Studio: Other stuff:

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