Design thinking in DC

In a few weeks I will be heading to Washington DC for the IABC World Conference, and along with my friend and colleague Martha Muzychka, ABC MC I’ll be hosting a special pre-conference workshop on design thinking in business communications.

The session will be a non-stop, hands-on exercise in the practical use of design thinking, so there won’t be time for (much) philosophizing. Nor will there be any of the dreaded conference PowerPoint (you may find it helpful to compare design thinking and PowerPoint thinking…).

But we will make a few simple points about design thinking, primarily to separate design thinking as an aspect of the totality of design culture, in which design practice takes place, from design thinking as a toolkit derived from that totality and which can be applied in non-design settings to great effect.

In the session, we will attempt to demonstrate the importance of embodied design thinking, taking a cue from Lucy Kimbell‘s insistence that it is better to consider “situated, embodied design practices, rather than a generalized ‘design thinking’.”

In other words, it’s about thinking in a certain mode, but it’s also about acting in the world in a particular way, and for particular reasons. That involves a whole person, not just the mind, or whatever the thinking part of a person actually is. Perhaps it can be compared to octopus thinking – most of an octopus’s surprisingly numerous neurons are to be found in its tentacles – but without the suckers.

See you there!


A pondering ‘pus. Image From Wikimedia.

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