praxis – design – creativity

Carl Steinitz: Design strategies and methods

“The design problem is: How do I get from time zero to time future?” says Harvard professor of landscape architecture and planning Carl Steinitz. Steinitz is author of A Framework for Geodesign: Changing Geography by Design and this talk is from the 2010 GeoDesign Summit. There are two strategies. One strategy is design — or imagine, [...]

Design principles: Jeff Leitner

Jeff Leitner, dean of flash mob-style public interest design company Insight Labs, set out his principles for curating collaborative thinking in a January 2012 Forbes interview. As excerpted on Insight: 1. Flatten the hierarchy: “It isn’t enough for the leader to say he or she is open to new ideas; he or she must get [...]

Design principles: Buzz Holling

Last year, resilience pioneer Buzz Holling, one of the originators of adaptive management — an approach to ecosystem management that emphasizes actively testing hypotheses and uncertainties — summarized his experiences in a talk at the American Fisheries Society. Buzz’ notes on “Lessons from Active Adaptive Management Experience” read to me like a set of design principles [...]

Design principles: Gar Alperovitz

If we understand design broadly, to mean purposeful action. And if we attribute broad motivations, that is: purposeful action that seeks to serve the public interest or common good, an extended sphere of relation. Assuming that not all such design efforts are equally effective, one might therefore seek to distinguish among their effectiveness. And it [...]

Gar Alperovitz’s heavy rap

“Fellow revolutionaries, I am delighted to be with you,” political ecnomist Gar Alperovitz greeted his SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) audience in San Francisco last week. A video from his Seattle Town Hall post-debate talk the following day is catching a lot of attention, but this talk with folks working at the “intersection of money and [...]

Paul Pangaro: Rethinking design thinking

Design, says Paul Pangaro in this 2010 PICNIC Festival talk, is a process that begins with the impulse to make thinks better. As I mentioned in a post on the new film Design + Thinking, I’m using this talk in my systems thinking class, and I’ve started to follow Pangaro’s description of the design thinking [...]

New films about design

The September 20-23 Seattle Design Festival features a fascinating program of documentary films about design. Critical perspectives inform the Taiwan-made Design & Thinking — such as when Jump Associates’ Udaya Patnaik deflates all hype with the line, “It doesn’t matter what the problem is: I can go in and solve it because I’m a designer.” Also in the [...]

We shape our world

We shape our world, and our world shapes us. “I never sing anything I can’t play,” said Louis Armstrong, “and I never play anything I can’t sing.” Art, craft, and design — broadly conceived — are perhaps the most consciously reflexive of human activities. Thus the act of design becomes a metaphor for the life [...]

Design for social change

Here are the slides for my talk today at the International Society for the Systems Sciences.