Design Facilitation and Education

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Timeboxing and Artifact Making

Right smack in the middle of this video is some solid working-style advice. When I’m truly stuck, I use it. Chunking my day up into blocks, taking out my cellphone and timing those blocks and *not cheating* really helps. The pomodoro technique is one way to do it (there are tons of smartphone apps to […]

The Problem with Sexy: Businesses versus StartUps

Reading this article in the New York times today, I can’t help but think that they are mostly right and a lot wrong. But maybe that’s because my circle of people is on the vanguard of the backlash?

If you haven’t read the NY Times today, it’s about Software vs. hardware, Enterprise vs. Consumerism.


Storytelling with Amanda Palmer:Play your Ukulele

I just listened to this clip from NPR for the second time. It’s the “web extra” from Amanda Palmer on crafting her TEDTalk. What’s amazing about it is that she describes the Open-Close-Open-Close of any really good creative process. She talks to everyone, thinks about trying everything. She dumps a draft and edits it when […]

The plan. And then the plan in action.

I like diagrams. They help me understand things…a bird’s eye view, some perspective. Making them shows me what I know, and explaining them deepens that understanding. But, as we know….

The territory is not the map.

We all know this diagram of our local space, the solar system:


Organizing Information: L.A.T.C.H.

People regularly ask me for better frameworks to help them organize their data, research and projects. I balk, because I want people to look at the information and try to do something that is natural, or inherent to the information. But that’s really hard…and a lie. I use basic heuristics all the time…and as it […]

Cosby Sweaters and Constraints

I just reread a long and fascinating article about Bill Cosby’s sweaters…and it made me realize just how many choices and constraints can go into every design decision.

First, there was the personal constraints:

They quickly realized that Cosby, and by extension Dr. Huxtable, couldn’t really be at ease […]

Open Source Innovation

While at SXSW this past week, I had the opportunity to get barraged with lots of ideas, new and old. One that keeps coming back to me in the days since I’ve been home is Open Source. What we do at the design gym is as open as we can make it. We bring our […]

3D Fashion! SXSW!

Yeah…so I’m back home again after a quick jaunt to sunny (and then cold, and then sunny) Austin, TX. It was a whirlwind week, filled with so much music, so many breakfast tacos, and of course, so much awesome inspiration. Lots more to follow….but I wanted to commemorate the date in blog form. It was […]

Strategy as Story

Tony Golsby Smith on Reframing Strategy as Story from Second Road Pty Ltd on Vimeo.

This great video from Second Road talks about what I see as Strategy…not a series of Gant charts and action steps, but powerful storytelling. He says “The future gets shaped by the power […]

Strategy, Leverage and Facilitation

“Why go through the hassle of actually designing and making better products and services, and offering steadily more value to customers and society, when the firm could simply position its business so that structural barriers ensured endless above-average profits?”

That is strategy without design and humanity. Read more […]