Beyond human-centred design, to?

Counter-balance design, Collective awareness design, Worker-centred design, Relational design, Beyond-human design, Ecosystem design, Consequence design, Life-centred design.

7 types of design

Relational Design

  • Whose needs do we start with?
  • How do we balance individual needs with the needs of communities, and of society, and of the planet?
  • How can we prioritise the whole, alongside individual needs?
  • How can we design in a way that recognises the interdependencies we all have?
  • How can we design for these interdependencies — the relationships between things?
  • If we design for a particular group, do they also have the institutional support they need?
  • What else do we need to include to ensure we are acknowledging the interdependencies here?

Counter-balance Design

  • This person may not need this (a library) but does the community?
  • Who is not in this data? And how can we represent them in our decisions?
  • What happens if we only use this data over time? (Cumulative affects?)
  • Which needs do we start with?

Collective Awareness Design

  • Who else is doing what you’re doing?
  • Who else is trying to do this?
  • What other assets and strengths are in proximity that could be useful?
  • How could you use tech and data better together?
  • How could you be stronger together?
  • What are the opportunities for linking up?
  • What could be assembled together from the collective, that makes the sum of the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

Ecosystem Design

  • What are your strengths within the ecosystem?
  • What are you best placed to do?
  • How can you make yourself useful to others?
  • What do you need to make visible so as to be useful and understood within the ecosystem?
  • How can you strengthen the relationships around you?
  • How can you move from being proprietary to open and collaborative?
  • How can you incubate and value the liminal spaces in the ecosystem?
  • How can you make the ecosystem ripe for connection? (and enable trust and relationships to form and thrive?)

Consequence Design

  • If you design this, then what? (for this group, community, society)
  • What could you displace?
  • What are you accelerating?
  • What are you encouraging or incentivising over time? (new norms or behaviours — what will people do more of, what will they do less of — what will they do instead?)
  • What could this harm?
  • What could this normalise?
I love this tweet from cameron tonkinwise that brings this idea to life.

Worker-centred Design

  • What is best for the worker?
  • How are workers rights being upheld?
  • How can the worker benefit from this?
  • How does this take care of the worker over time?
  • What does this mean for workers beyond their individual needs, and for their collective rights?

Beyond-Human Design

  • Are we strengthening the intelligence that differentiates humans from machines?
  • Are we investing in our innate abilities as humans to create, problem solve, trust and connect? Can we strengthen these?

Life Centred Design

  • Are you adding health in to this system?
  • How can you give prominence to care in your interactions?
  • How can you repair or maintain this system?
  • How are you being care-full (like Iroquois Philosophy where decisions made today are subjected to the 7th generation test)
  • What happens if you include nature, the planet, living ecosystems in the design? Bring in their intelligences? Their ‘voices’?
  • What small actions can you take that will start to generate something better than what exists today?
  • What do you have the power to do something about? The different choices you can make?
  • What can you learn from ancient wisdom traditions? How can we bring both our ancestors and future generations into how we design?
  • What can you contribute to the health of the planet? (this might be actions, energy, healing etc)



Working with Joseph Rowntree Foundation, EarthPercent, P4NE, Policy Fellow IIPP, Co-founder Point People, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.

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Cassie Robinson.

Working with Joseph Rowntree Foundation, EarthPercent, P4NE, Policy Fellow IIPP, Co-founder Point People, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.