Design talks

A list of design theory/practice ideas I’ve had that could become talks, all of which include monographesque provocatively non-descriptive titles with almost-clarifying subtitles, separated by colons:

  1. “No Pain, No Gain: Necessary Suffering in Innovation” – The agonizing experience of navigating the vacuum between framings fits poorly inside the fantasy image of creativity peddled by Design Thinking to the freedom-craving lanyard-tethered denizens of cubicle-land. Real, deep creativity is intensely painful at key points in the process, very few people are willing to undergo the ordeal, and anyone with authority will be tempted to use their power to abort innovative thought when they start to feel the anxiety inherent to the kind of radical reframing that produces innovative ideas.
  2. “Philosophy of Design of Philosophy of Design of: How Philosophy Is a Design Medium” – The implications of Dewey’s Instrumentalism crossed with both the methods and experiences of human centered design suggests that philosophies are mind-reality interfaces which ought to be thought of in terms of good design rather than faithful representations of truth.
  3. “Lean How?: How Design Methods Make Waste Tradeoffs” – Lean methodologies tend to emphasize efficiencies of time and money, but these are often gained at the cost of wasting other resources. This talk proposes looking at forms of internal waste (time, money, team morale, organizational credibility) and external waste (customer goodwill, innovation opportunities, attention and brand equity) and seeing choice of methodology in terms of waste trade-offs.
  4. “Who Is Our Engineer? is the New “Who is Our User?”: The Relationship Between Designers, Engineers and Users” – One of the most misconceptions that limits the effectiveness of design in many organizations is the notion that design fits inside a engineering as the people who responsible for making the “presentation layer” of an engineered product or service. This talk argues that flipping this relationship inside out and viewing engineering as a discipline within design permits both engineers and designers to increase the effectiveness of the other. In addition it will be argued that every relevant design discipline has one or more engineering disciplines involved in actualizing the design, and that design competence in any particular medium involves a working rudimentary knowledge of its engineering aspects and and understanding of how to collaborate with engineers of that discipline.