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Service in Design Thinking

What does it mean to provide service through Design Thinking?

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Service in Design Thinking

  1. 1. Service In Design Thinking “You can’t just push the button”
  2. 2. Great design solutions occur when the root needs of the client align with feasibility, and intuitive inspiration. Design Thinking exists within the convergence of these three things
  3. 3. This idea has been similarly adopted by the US Army in the development of their Operational Field Manual, in how they “design” battlefield solutions.
  4. 4. Great designers don’t lock themselves in a closet and single mindedly solve the world’s problems with little outside influence. Neither does great design occur as a prescription with little internal inspiration: Designers don’t go around looking to invent problems that don’t need solving. We solve specific problems with specific solutions We are at our best when we solve these problems not by asking surface questions and providing surface solutions, but by gaining deep understanding and providing intuitive solutions.
  5. 5. While the Segway was in many ways a fairly successful innovation, Ultimately it was a failure in that it solved the wrong problem, focusing on low speed - short distance vs. high speed – medium & long distance travel. The biggest problem the Segway solved was Dean Kamen’s own curiosity.
  6. 6. Now, to contrast this idea… some of you may have heard this quote attributed by Steve Jobs which seems to contradict this idea.
  7. 7. Steve is often “misquoted” as saying: “people don't know what they want until you show it to them”. Not very service friendly is it.
  8. 8. Well what he really said was… “"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.“ -- BusinessWeek, May 25 1998 Steve isn’t saying that people are unimportant, that they are dumb, or that you can simply design anything and they will flock to it. He’s simply saying that people are very bad at telling you what it is that they need solved. Especially if they are herded into groups and even more so if you are asking bad questions and forcing them to do the solving themselves, (isn’t that what designers are for anyway?).
  9. 9. So just as great design does not occur in a vacuum, neither is it delivered by those who simply do exactly as they are told and fail to interpret their clients’ needs or the needs of the users of their space, product, process, or customer experience. Great design both requires the genius of inspiration and the ability to discern the root needs of people. (a deeper discernment than simply asking what they need and providing exactly that which was described) This is how design can change the world. When the climate is right…..
  10. 10. Designers with grand plans and burgeoning ideas are often left wondering how to find a balance between two distinct design cultures. That of “High Design” and that of “High Delivery”.
  11. 11. High Delivery is the idea that a design provides solutions that do little more than meet the basic stated needs of their client. Failing to dig deeper for a more inspirational solution. (think the design of most strip malls). High Design is the idea that a designer consider themselves an artist above the needs of the client. They deliver high brow solutions as art in and of itself, and are not concerned with the desires and needs of the client.
  12. 12. Ever heard the term “Starchitect”?
  13. 13. As an example… consider the two “Franks”. Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry…and those other guys (Starck, Eisenman, etc…) There is this often debated idea that designers can be broken down into categories (and that there is a distinct divide) between whether they provide “High Design” like our starchitect friends or whether they provide “High delivery”. Or probably like most firms, whether the do something in between.
  14. 14. Many of those fabled starchitects managed to give birth to wondrous creations in-spite of their disregard for the delivery of their projects But at what cost? FLW’s Johnson wax building leaked like a sieve, & Falling water is the modern architecture equivalent of a mold petri dish. So much so that the owners (the Kauffman family) nicknamed it “Rising Mildew”.
  15. 15. Gehry’s disregard for everything and anything that may stand in the way of his vision for his art is evidenced in his being sued by MIT for the design of this beautify flawed structure. It leaked, was impossible to maintain, it’s masonry components cracked and failed, the skin created blinding glare and heat gain for neighboring structures, ice & snow formed and fell off the protruding windows to block emergency exits & damaged other building components. It’s not so much that he made errors, it is the nonchalance with which he regards those errors. Not to totally bash Gehry, this structure is iconic, beautiful, and truly inspired. But Frank takes liberties here with something I argue that we simply can’t afford to do. Not because he is Frank Gehry and we are not, But because in some ways I think frank is wrong. Solving problems in a way that creates more problems or which is in total disregard to the client and end user can be irresponsible and dangerous.
  16. 16. Here are some other classic examples of design leaders from our recent past proclaiming their distain for providing solutions for their clients. Architect Philip Johnson was noted for his distinction that architecture bore no social responsibility and that it was a sheer art form independent of those it served.
  17. 17. A striking failure of design to balance the “Art” of our product and the link to those we “Serve” can be found in the story of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project designed by world trade center architect Minoru Yamasaki. This complex was the first example of Modern architecture to face the wrecking ball, and ushered in the end of the modern architectural era. The failures here do not fall solely on the shoulders of the architects and designers of Pruitt Igoe. Much of this tragedy is rooted in politics, poverty, bigotry, and cultural upheaval. However, as much as the architectural movement of the time believed (correctly) that architecture could be a tool to solve societies biggest challenges, it also arrogantly failed to view these challenges from the eyes and hearts of Pruitt Igoe’s residents. The disconnect between the “Art” of architecture and design, and those that it serves could not have been more clear. – and sadly began the postmodern decline of architecture as social change agent.
  18. 18. A Design Thinking approach is human centered and is neither “High Design” nor “High Delivery”. It is both. It rejects “Either Or” in favor of “Both And”.
  19. 19. True “High Design” can only be derived out of the hard work, observation, understanding, and engagement necessary in providing “High delivery” There is very little value to providing awe inspiring solutions that fail to solve your client’s problems.
  20. 20. KSA developed an internal methodology called “Best in the World” as a guide to finding the balance between High Design and High Delivery. It is all about a human centered – client centric – design thinking approach where understanding the unique “best in the world” conditions for each and every individual client is the key.
  21. 21. We deliver this through a process called the 5 E’s Elicit – the deep root needs of your client Empathize – and truly understand their problem as deeply as they understand it Empower - your design team to accept nothing less than reaching this level of understanding Enthuse - the client about how and why we are achieving this solution. It must be “their” solution not ours. Eject – any form of agenda that may get in the way of delivering the clients best possible solutions. Read the e-book here and learn more about this approach http://www.slideshare.net/cgooddesign/best- in-the-world-e-book

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