About a brief

“– We want to change people’s lives through sound and music, and have sound and music really adapt to their everyday lives’– Now, that would be a great brief… and it’s short!” Yves Béhar, designer of Jambox portable speaker for Jawbone, 2010. Béhar’s example of a great brief, apart from being, well, brief, is an … Continue reading “About a brief”

Can you teach empathy?

“Empathy is the capacity to step into other people’s shoes, to understand their lives, and start to solve problems from their perspectives. Human-centered design is premised on empathy, on the idea that the people you’re designing for are your roadmap to innovative solutions…” Emi Kolawole, Editor-in-Residence, Stanford University d.school We ask students to consider who … Continue reading “Can you teach empathy?”

‘What If…?’

What would you draw for the word ‘kettle’ in a game of Pictionary? This is my 16 year old’s attempt: although we’ve never owned a kettle which looks like this drawing, somewhere in his mind there exists an imprint of such a form: a kettle archetype. Without even realising, we all store a range of … Continue reading “‘What If…?’”

A Chair is… Part 2

“… there is nothing – nothing in the whole world that somebody won’t buy and sit in if you tell him that it’s a chair. It’s the great new art form of our age…” Randall Jarrell, American poet and essayist In my post A Chair is… I discussed how questioning what a chair is and … Continue reading “A Chair is… Part 2”

A Chair is…

…”A very thorough market research campaign on people’s taste in chairs has established that they must answer the following requirements: they must be comfortable, luxurious, rustic, fanciful, strictly technical and functional, broad, narrow, high, low, hard, soft, flexible, elegant, rigid, compact, large and impressive, cheap, good value, obviously expensive and socially impressive, made of one … Continue reading “A Chair is…”

Learning with objects

Like most museums, The Design Museum, where I have been part of the learning team for almost a decade, builds its schools’ programme around handling collections. Constructing learning activities based on handling objects seems to me especially pertinent in a museum context: young people on a museum visit are surrounded by objects that spark their … Continue reading “Learning with objects”