Media Tectonics & Design (Thinking)

Patrick Whitney presented "Media Tectonics and design" at the Chicago AIGA meeting.

He talked about design thinking. One example he gave was Suruga Bank and how they built a working prototype of a “future” bank focused on what customers wanted to do with their money and not just about the money. Yes, there were tellers, but they were in the back of the room. One of the Suruga prototypes had a “library” in the front part of the building that had travel books for customers to browse. Customers could choose a book about a particular travel destination and then put them on a “reading” table that has a sensor that read a chip in each book and and displayed all kind of relevant information about hotels, travel arrangements, restaurants AS the customer read the book.

Whitney said one could not have asked customers what they wanted and gotten this, but that it involved deep knowing of what customers felt and related to when dealing with a bank. That this envisioning the future one has to make to know. He also used the example to show how to get into the “what” rather than the how by decoupling from craft, that if one can only approach problems from the craft toolkit that they have, then they won’t be able to re-frame the problem.

4 Aspects of Designing Thinking

1 – User Empathy & Corporate Context
2 – Do not take the Problem as Given
3 – Make to Know
4 – Envision the Future.

Yes, he covered many of other things too.


Patrick Whitney: Director of the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, the largest graduate school of design in the U.S.
Thursday August 29 2010: 7pm to 8ish
Design Thinking talk at AIGA Chicago was titled “Media Tectonics and design.”
Michale Simborg and I from uxSEARS attended. Michael is an alumnus of IIT.

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© Dennis Schleicher Jr 2019.

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