At lauckgroup, we are dedicated personally and professionally to design that improves the Human Experience. Our blog captures our team’s efforts, our collective study on the topic, and the impact our projects make. Take a look at how we approach design for the Human Experience.
Most recently, we interviewed Sara Barnes, Associate and Sr. Project Designer at lauckgroup.
“Ultimately, our design strategy as an individual or a firm reflects what we value. For me, that means starting with PEOPLE”, says Sara.
Q: Is there anything you are doing personally this month that has an impact on people? Tell us about it!
Sara: This month I had the opportunity to spend time with students in SMU’s ‘MADI’, Master of Arts in Design and Innovation, program over the course of two sessions. The program brings together students from different backgrounds, computer programming to psychology to graphic design, all focused on solving problems with people at the focus, ie: human-centered design. Their semester project is a partnership with the SPCA of Texas centering on pet ownership in areas of Dallas with high stray dog rates. The quick fix might be to spay/neuter or euthanize animals, but these students are looking at the situation differently – is this a people issue and not just an animal issue? It’s encouraging to see this kind of problem-solving taught at a Master Degree level with diverse project teams. The time for exploration and discovery of the right questions results in proper and effective solutions.
The sessions with the MADI students reminds me that our own backgrounds and biases cause each of us to make assumptions on what a given solution should be even when those assumptions may not be accurate for everyone whom the project reaches. Understanding the full breadth of how individuals are impacted by a project informs the correct questions, and thus the correct solutions.
Q: How are you taking that philosophy and bringing into your project work?
Sara: We are partnering with Teaching Trust to design their new office and program space. Teaching Trust is a non-profit focused on training for leaders in low-performing schools. Their goal is to train these leaders on effective strategies and techniques that drive improved academic success on their campuses.
In their future space, they will develop training material which requires creativity and constant evaluation. To understand how the new space can positively impact them, we determined the answer to “what might spur them towards better content generation?” was the guiding light for our design strategy.
In their namesake is the word “trust.” Through our question-asking sessions, they were able to self-identify that if they were to strengthen their culture of trust, it would lead to heightened collaborative and thus creative content. Our questions included “what kind of culture would you want to nurture in the new space” and “how can your new office be a catalyst for change for your office culture.” By asking questions to those directly responsible for generating this creative content, we tapped into a level of expertise that will inform the best solution with our design work.
Get out there people — Make an IMPACT!