So, what is all of this jargon anyhow?
Design thinking was born from the 1960’s attempts to scientize design.
In 1991, IDEO, a design and consulting firm was formed and modelled it’s process on what had come out from the Stanford Design School. “IDEO is widely accepted as one of the companies that brought Design Thinking to the mainstream…” The Design Thinking Process is a way of operating in the world, really, it can be applied to nearly everything we encounter in life. It came out of the design world, yet it is fluid enough to be applicable to much of what one may encounter throughout the day.
It is composed of the following steps:
Empathize – deeply listen to identify needs
Identify - Identify and state needs or problems
Ideate - Challenge assumptions and create ideas
Prototype – start creating solutions
Test - try out your solutions
This can be applied to product design such as designing a dishwasher for families with young children or differently abled bodies. It is essentially a decolonized, anti-capitalist way of being. Rather than forcing a need for a product, like “feminine hygiene” products, it identifies actual needs and then meets them where they are at.
After the Uprising last year some firms hosted listening sessions and the people in power finally stopped talking, and listened. Some of them heard the concerns of their employees and made systemic wide changes for the better.
This is the beginning of what we do.
We identify needs.
Then we facilitate change, from large institutional change to on a cohort or individual level.
All of our offerings are tailored specifically to the specific needs of your situation.
The Liberatory Design Division is led by Rakia Beimel, who holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. She has studied Design Thinking at MIT and Disruptive Strategy at Harvard. She is a single mother and lives with her son, Avi... dog, Oatmeal, and a turtle in Metro Detroit.