Designers see the future

Designers see the future, specifically when surfacing insights. Seeing the future is a multi-step process for the designer, with the forming of insights from the body of research about midway. It’s hard. I pace around the room, stumble into a chair or onto a studio stool, gaze back at a wall of multi-colored notes and wonder what it means. I re-watch hours of video interviews or scroll through pages of observations and notes looking for clues. Sometimes alone, or in conversation with my team, I am searching for an insight. This search is both my darkest and brightest hour during the design process. It seems that something bigger than me plays a role in the discovery of an insight.

Most recently our team is working with the city of Boston answer the question, “How can we help people make use of — and create play in — public spaces?” The mayor’s office of New Urban Mechanics is “investigating and experimenting prototypes around Boston’s 3rd spaces.” Our team is tasked specifically with looking at permitting and the relationship between the city and organizers creating in public space.

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