Ronny Puschmann
2 min readJan 27, 2023

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Taking side paths in the design process

When we are faced with a design problem, it is easy to fall into the trap of designing solutions that are too narrow and fail to take into account the ranges of human needs. By taking time to shift the vectors, we are more likely to see the unseen parts of the spectrum of needs.

The diversity of perspectives is what makes design so challenging, and it is also what makes it so rewarding.

Beyond knowledge and skills, we can use the element of frequent exploration and the gift of passion for it as a great advantage to gain inspiration.

Street art — a red apple by the artist Sonni is raising its arms and rejoicing, on a white wall in NYC Bowery. A white woman in a sporty dress runs past the apple in a hurry.
Cup and Saucer in NYC, Chinatown

Taking side paths and reaching out to individuals and communities that may not be directly represented in the design process is always a good way to start with. This might involve conducting research with underrepresented groups, collaborating with subject matter experts, or simply seeking out input from people over a coffee or tea who have different life experiences than our own.

By going off the beaten track and looking for a diverse range of perspectives, we can create designs that are more inclusive, adaptable, and effective.

AI has been useful in everyday life for many people and for many applications for some time. Besides problems and oddities like “user proxies” in research or inflationary generative art, AI is creating new opportunities for better design and engineering.

Incorporating AI into our designs can help us create more intelligent and adaptive systems that can learn and evolve over time. For example, we might use Large Language Models to develop personalized recommendations for products or services, optimize workflows and processes, or improve personal decision-making.

By taking the time, embracing different perspectives, and utilising technology, we can create solutions that are curative, transformative, and bring something gentle to the planet.

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