Strategic Design Thinking – Day 2

Templates! Photo Saskia Coulson

Another interesting day.

I have to say that I am taking profit of this module in a meta-way. I don’t want to sound like a yes-man or apple polish but I really like the way Tom is leading the sessions.

Points that I like and plan to copy:

  • One piece at a time – present block of information that closes on itself but keep connected to the bigger scenario.
  • Practical activities in the end of each block – helps to keep the information by practicing something related to the content.
  • Promote discussion – even when the group is silent (and I cant shout up).
  • Sheets – Using templates to exercises make it faster and keep everyone in the same track (but sometimes I like to get myself a little lost).

I must say I don’t know much about British design, I think by tradition Brazil is much more influenced by German schools (yes, that one).

(Insight about design culture from the 90’s in the end)

Part of the exercise of the week is to write design definitions (we did one yesterday and I have to make another today). I was thinking about a discussion I saw at the PhD Design mailing group and maybe a good way to go with this would be try to define design as a noun (what is this) and as a verb “to design”, or “what designers do”.

The history recap was to talk about what he called Design 1.0 and Design 2.0. It reminds me of Luis Arnal (former boss from Insitum) who used the term “Innovation 2.0. I think they both are talking about the same thing.

While the last version of design / innovation were pretty much running in one direction, many times based on ideas and inspiration from one person, a big boss in the organization, the 2.0 versions are more complex, network based and hard to track. Just like the “internet 2.0”, the name given to the more democratic internet with user generated content (yep. Blogs).

I think the relation is not just by chance. It is way easier to access information today than ever, therefore, to create new knowledge. It is also possible to do so by getting together with other people and exchange ideas almost without limits.

These things have blurred the limits between designers and non designers (or innovators and non-innovators). And when everybody can design / innovate, nobody owns “design” or “innovation” anymore. For me the version 2.0 of both things is basically the open source version where virtually anyone can design and innovate.


I had an insight when Tom was talking about the 90’s. In that decade many successful products changed collective behaviors to individual ones. Starting with the walkman, then diskman, and been really relevant with mobile phones. What once were shared, now is individual.

I am not very sure it is a consequence of the products, or if the products success is actually a consequence of the cultural stage, but I have this impression that people became much more self-centered and even selfish after that. Today’s iZombies that cant have a proper conversation without checking their phones every 3 minutes can be an evolution of that. I don’t know… Just guessing here… What do you think?


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