The OTHER Design Thinking

Call For Participants:

Humantific CoFounder Elizabeth Pastor presented The OTHER Design Thinking for the first time last week at the Design Thinkers 2013 conference in Toronto.

In the presentation Humantific points out what realms of knowledge are now being blended in practice today as well as 10 differences between Mainstream Design Thinking and The OTHER Design Thinking.

It is becoming clear to many that the era of assuming that all wicked social problems can be solved by creating more products and services is over.

Part of the presentation is an invitational call for submissions in reference to inclusion in our next virtual book entitled The OTHER Design Thinking now in progress. We are looking for 3-4 other leading innovation practices already engaged in The OTHER Design Thinking and interested in appearing in this book along with Humantific.

If you are operating a practice where you begin all projects with the built-in assumption that products, services and or experiences will be outcomes [Design 1 & Design 2] so sorry but this is not a project for you. That circle of mainstream practices has already been widely covered, over and over again in the mainstream business media, in mainstream design media, mainstream design thinking movies, in mainstream books, etc.

This project seeks to give voice to a different circle of other emerging practices that make no such up-front assumptions. [See “10 Ways its Different” on pages 77 to 99].

If you are engaged in design thinking oriented innovation practice and have already been operating beyond the “Crossover Era” for at least 5 years feel free to contact us if you would like to be considered.

Email expressions of interest to: kickitup (at) humantific (dot) com

This project builds on previous work.


Innovation Methods Mapping / Preview

NextDesign Geographies
Making Sense of Design 1,2,3,4
Understanding The Future That Has Already Arrived

NextD Reality Check

When [Old Design Thinking] LOVE is Not Enough

Comments ( 6 )
  • Gavin Melles says:

    Nice one guys. It is about time somebody took the Design Thinking discourse in another direction and/or revised current conceptions. Anybody with any practical investment in the field knows that we need more than lego and post-it note workshops to find out what is real and what is BS in the Design Thinking claims. Well done for contributing.

  • Marcio Dupont says:

    Hi I will post about it in my design portal. Thanks!

  • pete ramskill says:

    I find this academic approach to complexity and design issues very self indulgent. The thing that good designers have always have always brought to the debate is clarity, insight and simplicity. The approach above brings obscurity, complexity and exclusion. Exclusion because the approach is so complex and the language so inward and arrogant.

    • Admin says:

      Hello Pete Ramskill: We are in practice, not academia and thus this is not an academic exercise. Your comments are ironic in the sense that the purpose of this ebook initiative is to give voice to a relatively unsung circle of emerging practices not often appearing in the mainstream media. That is an intended addition and expansion not a contraction. We could have just focused on ourselves but by design we are seeking to include other firms in this ebook.

      In addition you evidently might not be aware that the design of inclusion is often a focus of such firms engaged in helping at the scale of organizations and societies. As you well know the design of inclusion does not take place in all forms of design, in all scales of design.

      Other than inviting practices with at least 5 years of experience in this activity space, rather than academic institutions, the only parameter of the call invitation at the moment is that participants do not begin their work with built-in assumptions at the outset that products, services or experiences will automatically be outcome paths. Those more downstream oriented firms are already widely covered in the mainstream media. We have no desire to duplicate the mainstream media coverage of design thinking that already exists out there.

      In this sense what we are doing is a departure from the magic-thinking oriented notion that all designers can do anything at any scale. In contrast this initiative reflects the notion of skill-to-scale that we have explained many times in the last few years to design audiences and many others.

      This work is a reflection of what is already going on in real world practice and not an academic speculation regarding possible future states.

      If you feel that your firms work meets the simple call for participants criteria please feel free to submit a project example or two Pete. If not you should create your own ebook initiative that explains your views in your own style in more detail. Many would like to see your materials, ourselves included. Whichever direction you choose to take we wish you good luck.

  • John Geldart says:

    Academia and practice aside, “design” is, and must be encouraged to be an activity (and policy) directed to solving future social needs. The disconnect between education and practice is a special and important challenge that clearly needs to be addressed.

    Without specific examples, I am not certain what “realms of knowledge are now being blended in practice”, nor am I ‘up to date’ with the moveable ‘design thinking’ targets and trends.

    pete ramskill (above) seems to suggest we need some terms of reference for real challenges ……….say healthcare / wellness, entrepreneurship, value added product design, ……………?

  • Magda Kaspary says:

    Good morning: One of my professors in the Organization Systems Renewal Program at Bainbridge Graduate Institute (OSR/BGI) in Seattle suggested your website to me. What a pleasure! Your content is solid and innovative. I am personally discussing the future of Organizational Development (OD). It seems that Design Thinking has a great connection with OD roots. Complexity, Systems Thinking, Social Transformation are also engendered to Design. I will keep following your work. Inspired!

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