art & design Category

A Beautiful Idea

Is what you do, where you work, or how you organize, beautiful? Among the many words used to describe our work lives the most neglected and maybe necessary might be described that one word: it’s time to take it seriously.  For those working in design one of the biggest challenges is getting people to understand that […]

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Seeking simplicity among complexity? Go Dutch!

In a world awash in content and the resulting complexity that comes when it all intersects the viable options for how to manage it remain few. The Dutch De Stijl art and design movement might offer some lessons on dealing with complexity that we can apply beyond products to creating beautiful, functional, and effective services, […]

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Creativity and Craft, Myth and Muscle

Creativity is a word shrouded in myth that has been held up as this elusive, seductive object that will reveal the true secrets of innovation if ever reached. Creativity is something we all have, but not all of us are craftspeople and knowing where these two are separate and meet is the difference between myth […]

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“If You Build It..”: A Reflection on A Social Innovation Story

If You Build it is documentary about a social innovation project aimed at cultivating design skills with youth to tackle education and social issues in a economically challenged community in North Carolina. The well-intentioned, well-developed story is not unfamiliar to those interested in social innovation, but while inspiring to some these stories mask bigger questions […]

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The Literacy of Change

It has been said that change is the only constant, yet for something so pervasive change is a remarkably thorny and poorly understood concept. One reason is that change is often approached as a set of facts about a static state of affairs instead of as a literacy, which at change in a far more dynamic context that reflects human systems more accurately.

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300: Crises in Complexity, Opportunities in Design

In 2009 Censemaking was launched as a platform to explore issues in complexity and ways we can make sense of it to design for better futures and a sustainable world. After 300 posts it has become evident that there is much more to write as we see ever-new crises from complexity and ever-greater design opportunities […]

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Design Thinking, Design Making

Designing and thinking
Critics of design thinking suggest that it forgets making while advocates suggest that it extends itself beyond the traditional constraints of design’s focus on the brief. What separates the two is still the implications associated with making something and the question: can we be good designer thinkers without being design makers? This post looks at the relationship between design thinking and making.

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Defining the New Designer

It’s been suggested that anyone who shapes the world intentionally is a designer, however those who train and practice as professional designers question whether such definition obscures the skill, craft, and ethics that come from formal disciplinary affiliation. Further complicating things is the notion that design thinking can be taught and that the practice of […]

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Design Space in Public Health

If design is everywhere humans are and shapes our interactions in the built environment, which dictates how we interact with the world around us should it not be considered important enough to be a part of public health? I recently picked up a copy of the architecturally-inspired Arcade Magazine because of its theme on Science, […]

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Design / Time

Design’s relationship with space is complex and well documented in the literature on architecture, interior design, and product innovation. The relationship with time is much more complicated particularly with the rise in popularity of the concept of design thinking. The discourse on design thinking largely focuses on applying the cognitive patterns and creative techniques more […]

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