Reflecting on the past year and moving to the next one, one step after another

As designers, innovators, and change-makers, making sense of the “now” capacitates us to act, change, and orient the near future. But we only see what we are able to perceive. We hear what we are ready to listen to. We think about what we are able to process.

For the past year members of the Design & Critical Thinking community have gathered regularly to make sense of our “present”. We have deployed our curiosity, questioned our individual and collective experiences and enriched our understanding and potential for action.

Sensing the Present is an act of genuine curiosity. We let go…


Navigating unknown seas and finding direction

The explorer’s metaphor is a series of articles that aim to provide an introduction to sensemaking and complexity management for designers, managers, and decision-makers. Read here part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

Carta Marina — Source

Navigating complexity

An unknown sea is a place of unknown unknowns. The links between phenomenons in the landscape are not obvious, and this ambiguity can hardly be resolved as these flows are constantly changing.

This is a place where stories –even conflicting ones– strives because they allow coherence in our experiences: a place of monsters, wonders, and mysteries.

Unknown seas are a special type of complexity, one…


A discussion with Samuel Huber.

In this episode, we discuss Planet Centric Design with Samuel Huber, Design Strategist at GoodPatch and who specialised in sustainable design approaches.

Samuel also pursues a Ph.D. in Systemic Management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

We discuss:

  • Who’s Samuel Huber?
  • Who said Planet Centric Design?
  • A definition for Planet Centric Design (PCD)
  • The old becomes new again
  • PCD simplifies access to complex topics
  • On labels & the need to reframe our way of working
  • Planet Centric, Circular Design, Systemic Design, etc.
  • Maps, Models, the tree & the forest: the value & limits of reduction
  • Our tools are biased…

A collaborative drawing session turned into a podcast

This is a *collaborative drawing session* with the Design & Critical Thinking community turned into a podcast –drawing as a medium for exploration.

In this session, we explored the concept of “Insight” and our relationship with it by visualizing and building on each other’s ideas.

Our ability to see through the conditional interpretation of our experience helped us face the loopholes and blind spots of our perception. Insights are volatile and fleeting.

They can grow cold if not used at the right time. Our internal alignment can give us both richness of insights and momentum to build concretely on them…


A sensemaking framework for product innovation

On Thursday, May 6 we had the pleasure to welcome Klaus-Peter Frahm and Michael Schieben, co-founders of field.so.

They presented to our fellow Design & Critical Thinker a sensemaking framework, The Product Field, for organisations to navigate the complexity of their product and enable better decisions.

🔥 Discover below the full presentation by Michael Schieben and explore the different shapes of innovation👇

📆 Take a look at our Meetup group to stay up to date on future events & workshops!

Thanks for reading!

Design & Critical Thinking is a free, open, and non-commercial community of curious explorers. We aim to build shared…


Insights on deep collaboration about “Support”

Our community’s Kumospace allowed a very interactive & organic way to collaborate.

As part of the Design & Critical Thinking community, Krasi Bozhinkova and Daiana Zavate from Owtcome agency organised a deep collaboration workshop for the community to reflect on the concept of “Support”. Here are the insights gathered through the session, during which two groups collaborated to create a shared understanding of the concept.

An introduction to collaborative drawing — Courtesy of Owtcome.

The Workshop.


Product innovation is an essential part of most today’s business models. The pace of change led by the digital space makes it hard for teams to grasp and align all the different moving parts, both within and outside the organisation, required to improve or deliver a great product.

Meet Klaus-Peter Frahm and Michael Schieben, who will present The Product Field, a sense-making framework for teams and organizations that build products.

The Product Field helps you navigate the complexity of your product, align the perspectives of all stakeholders, find your focus, and make the right decisions to help you create positive impacts for everyone.

🔥 Join us for this free event👇


Dear readers and fellow Design & Critical thinkers,

I hope you are all well & safe! 🙏

Making sense of the complex and generating the time & space for opportunities are exercises tightly linked to innovation and design.

Senseframing, as introduced here by Daiana Zavate, is an important aspect of how we approach what we do, impacting our sensemaking and the type of opportunities we’re able to foresee:

Are we observing what truly emerges from the field or do we seek for anticipated patterns through the lense of some pre-determined paradigms?

Recently, following several discussions with the Design & Critical…


Energy, Sensors, and Triangulation

The explorer’s metaphor is a series of articles that aim to provide an introduction to sensemaking and complexity management for designers, managers, and decision-makers. Read here part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Explorers should not be seen as lonely individuals. As part of a larger system, they are components of the network that represent their organisation, and distribution is a necessary feature of the network.

Not everyone in an organization has knowledge of or is aware of the same things, at the same time, in the same way. …

Design & Critical Thinking

Building shared understanding at the intersection of design, innovation, tech, change, ethics, etc.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store