Now you can intern at TACSI!

Just a quick update, after our stunning appearance at TACSI (check out Ella and my blog post here), the Radical Redesign team have decided they love interns and want a more permanent one. It is a great opportunity, click here to check it out! The position in a very small nutshell:

  • 8-10 weeks at the TACSI office, Adelaide
  • Design background required, including visual communications skills
  • You must be a team player and a people person
  • You will be working on the ‘Weavers‘ project, in the aged care field
  • TACSI can assist with relocation within Australia, accommodation and provide a stipend
  • Starting ASAP!

Apply using this form. Hop to it!

Opher, innovation, design thinking and business

Opher Yom-Tov, Customer Centered Design & Innovation, BT Financial Group, Australia from Creativeinnovation on Vimeo.

While I was at home in Sydney for a week, I had the honour of chatting with Opher Yom-Tov, the ex-manager of IDEO Shanghai who now works for Westpac’s wealth management arm, BT as the customer centred design and innovation manager. We spoke about all sorts of things, from the weather to . Some of Opher’s insights that made the greatest impressions were:

  • Design thinking needs room in a business in order to work. It needs the support of the powers that be (i.e. have the blessings of the CEO, or someone on the board of directors) in order to be given the time, money and other resources to flourish. It is harder to get design thinking in the door if the only person in favour of it is not being given any permission or resources to work on it.
  • Failure teaches you something important. Opher said this after I had been talking about how I had to get my major project exactly right as it was my offering to potential employees and a summary of four years of work. He explained that in the relatively new space of design thinking, if you try something and it fails, share this knowledge and it will help the whole community narrow down what works and what doesn’t, as…
  • No-one, not even IDEO has nailed the concept of design thinking (despite the CEO, Tim Brown, writing a whole book about it). We are all feeling our way, learning through trial and error, and it’s a slow process. Therefore…
  • Be your own design thinker. Have your own theories on the topic. There are no real experts in the field because it is so young, and because the point of design thinking is that everyone’s input is just as valuable.
  • Think of many alternatives, then iterate and refine. You can only see what works by putting it into practice. Be quick and dirty, come up with lots of ideas and see how they behave when put to the test (talk to people, make mock-ups, ask for feedback, then do it all again with the next version).

Opher’s top three tips for innovative projects are:

  1. Journey together. Have  a team that starts from the start and ends at the end, together. That means a multi-disciplinary team and no outsourcing.
  2. Experiment and iterate. Try, fail and try again.
  3. It’s all about the users! Take a look at IDEO’s HCD (Human Centred Design) toolkit. Opher believes that most businesses focus too much on their business purpose and technology opportunities in order to be financially successful. If they focus on their customers, not only are they shown to have higher returns, but their customers are happy too!

As you can see from the video, Opher is a very switched on guy and he is able to put the fairly abstract concepts of design thinking and innovation in business into plain language, something that I have always struggled with. He is also a people person; he’s easy to talk too and he knows the innovation sector like the back of his hand. He has given me some great leads in Sydney and Melbourne. I have many phone calls to make and emails to write. Thank you Opher!

Post-presentation

These are some snap shots from my presentation on Social Innovation, Design and Enterprise (S.I.D.E. if you have a better name please let me know). I was explaining my first semester of research and the conclusions that I had come to:

  1. What the area of SIDE looks like now
  2. What I want it to look like in the future
  3. How to get there.
Please click here for a closer look at my poster, or here for a closer look at the book that I produced.

The presentation materials were supplied by social enterprises in order to prove the point that consumers can turn to these businesses for high quality products and services that are in their local area and have a the bonus of being a feel-good purchase. Blouse by Dear Gladys, African donuts and fruit balls by The Social Studio, paper by Green Collect and book inspiration thanks to Beehive.

The panel for my presentation consisted of lecturers Soumitri and Liam, Centre of Design’s Simon Lockrey,  VEIL’s (Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab) Jessica Bird, industrial designer Justin Hutchinson, fashion designer Georgia McCorkill of the Red Carpet Project and Service Design and DESIS’ Yoko Akama.

I was given some great advice and ideas in the feedback time, with the one of the best comments being from Georgia, something along the lines of ‘I’m usually afraid of the whole topic of social enterprise, but now it makes sense to me’. That was pretty exciting because one of the biggest challenges of the semester has been clearly explaining my area of interest.

All in all a successful presentation, I think my poster design skills are slowly getting better, thanks mostly to the highly talented graphic designerly types in the class, and Soumitri’s Japanese aesthetic lectures. And the snacks went down a treat!

Credit for all the images goes to Charlotte Hannah.

Government support of design in business

‘The Premier’s Design Awards’ competition is now open!

“The Premier’s Design Awards have a unique and prestigious position in Victoria. They illustrate the latest in design thinking both from Victorian designers and Victorian businesses that use design, demonstrating excellence and innovation.

The Premier’s Design Awards recognise and reward excellence and leadership in the use of design, where design has been used effectively, sustainably and strategically to innovate, increase market share, boost productivity and/or boost competiveness and exports.”

If you fulfill the criteria, please enter and tell us how you go.

Design thinking for social innovation

“Design thinking for social innovation.” A great summary.

“Designers have traditionally focused on enhancing the look and functionality of products. Recently, they have begun using design techniques to tackle more complex problems, such as finding ways to provide low-cost healthcare throughout the world. Businesses were the first to embrace this new approach—called design thinking—and nonprofits are beginning to adopt it too. “

The idea of ‘positive deviance’- where there are uncommon occurrences of something being successfully achieved, and looking at how this can be applied more broadly to a community.

Find the article here.