Take Stock of Your Narrative with This 30 Minute Activity

Turn your view upside down. 'Miner on the Moon' installation by artist Alex Chinneck

“I’m too busy.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m tired.” How many times do you say this, feel this, express this every week? What are these phrases really masking? I’ve been using these phrases to excuse myself of writing a post for the past two months while burying myself in other work. “I’m too busy” is code word for “I’m not going to address questions I need to ask myself about this blog.” All the procrastination has built up. The questions continue to knock at the door, getting louder every day. Enough is enough. I’m kicking procrastination aside and getting into it.Continue Reading

12 Tips for Effective Community Engagement from Leading London Designers

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Community engagement, participatory design, co-design, community-led design, human-centered design and more methods to incorporate end users needs are increasingly becoming a part of the early stages in the design process. The myriad tools and tactics are extensive: workshops, surveys, interviews, focus groups, observational studies, analogous situation research, expert interviews, and many more. With the variety of options, how do you know which one will result in an effective and meaningful results that will help lead to an outcome that suits all parties involved?Continue Reading

The Human Side of Creativity, Writing, and Designing


After twenty-six hours of travel that entailed two 10+ hour-long flights, a train ride, a tube ride, and four blocks of tugging a suitcase, I found myself sitting on my sofa in London with eyes at half mast. My to-do list was as long as ever yet my eyes could nearly stay open. Sitting in a dark flat 9,000 miles away and seven time zones ahead, my husband reminded me of something important. “You can’t do it all. You need sleep,” he told me. “Start tomorrow refreshed. You’ll feel better.”

Ten years ago, pushing through all-nighters–and sometimes multiple days–constantly awake and (somehow) designing and creating was no problem. My younger self had an insatiable drive to match my peers’ willingness to work despite all indications for sleep. All nighters are a thing of the past for me, now, but the desire to fill my to-do list and calendar still prevails.Continue Reading

Sharing More about Social Impact Design Metrics on GOOD FORM!


The new podcast GOOD FORM! has recently hit the internet airwaves and I was lucky enough to sit down with the hosts for their second episode to share my current endeavors with social impact design and measurement.

Started by young architects Bryan Mock and Brandon Wlosinski of The Iterative, the podcast is aimed at giving an inside view of how designers and studios are doing great work. As a “studio of one” with a network of collaborators, I spoke about my current pursuits with PublicInterestDesign.org, the Autodesk Foundation, AzuKo, and a forthcoming research project into impact measurement for design along with my journey into this work.

I hope you enjoy the interview and make sure to check out the other interviews with Audrey Galo of Architecture for Humanity and Ced Funches.

Why You Need to Define Your “Other 90%”


It was a muggy summer day in New York City. After traversing through the meandering paths in Central Park, I quickly crossed the bustling Museum Mile to enter Cooper Hewitt’s smaller but equally green garden exhibit on “Design for the Other 90%.” With roots in a rural, agricultural-centered California town, the Day Labor Station caught my attention immediately. Architecturally it was beautiful and well designed. The intricate construction details, solar panel roof, and integrated toilet made for a completely off-the-grid design that any architect would be proud of. Then I noticed the bright blue Q Drum for transporting water and then the small LifeStraw to purify water. I was captivated by these products and structures that were addressing things I take for granted.Continue Reading