Let’s stop talking about THE design process
Carissa Carter

Hi Carissa,

Thanks, first and foremost, for drafting this, and sharing it. In your “reflective script,” while addressing some of the feedback that you had received, you mention that this has been on your mind for quite some time. What has triggered the constant state of thought around THE process? I’m curious.

I want to share a quick story; my story, really. I learned about design thinking about 4 years ago, and did what I could, at that time, to soak up d.school materials from my remote (Chicago) location. It wasn’t until I made a trip out to the d.school for a bootcamp, in January of 2016, that I walked into the then heralded “d.school.” Every day in between, from the time I learned of design thinking, until the day I bootcamped in Palo Alto, I designed. I engaged in work that I found curious, and took the tools of what I had taught myself from d.school content, and applied them. I practiced my own learning, and made my own higher education. Then, when I had the opportunity to enrich my profession, through professional education at the d.school, I showed up, a contributor, and learned new techniques. I left, returning home, and to this day, practice design pedagogy in nearly everything I do, particularly in profession.

I share this story because I think the d.school, you, your team, your cohorts; you deserve to be thanked for how you share your content. That said, with open access comes market saturation, and in some ways, the efficacy gets diluted. I live my life much like the iterative state of design, always evolving. I practice what I preach, and I think, for those who flirt with the d.school’s content, it quickly becomes apparent if they practice it, enriching the lives of others (and themselves) by solving curious problems and human needs through the process of design, or, if they are riding a bandwagon, trying to sell it as part of what they do. This brings me to my next point…

Higher education, higher understanding, and higher learning happens through doing. We can read all day long, go to school all day long, but if we aren’t biasing towards doing, with attention and intention to grow ourselves, we earn zero degree. Zero diploma. Hasso Plattner or not, the credentialed are who they are because they DO, and they learn from what they DO, constantly iterating themselves.

Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoyed reading it.



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