Design thinkers and current clout

“Design thinking is fluffy” coming from two guys discussing business in a high end co-working office.

I must admit that it generates a lot of excitement and buzz when we use the term design thinking. When asked for it, many who have included it onto their résumé might not explicitly know what design thinking covers.

To clarify, design thinking is a process that is similar to the scientific method. Here’s a broad their of its progressive steps:

  1. Empathize
  2. Define
  3. Ideate
  4. Prototype
  5. Test
  6. Iterate/Implement

Academics in the science community who follow the scientific method don’t qualify themselves as scientific thinkers. It is rather a given that they follow the scientific method as part of their protocol. On the other hand, Design thinking becomes fluffy if the people using the term don’t have an understanding of what it is, and why we have it.

Design thinking is a great thing, and I love everything about the process if it means getting to understand and solve different human problems that contribute to our culture and humanity.

How many pairs of jeans can a suburban neighbourhood own?

We’ve heard it everywhere. Cotton is a water-heavy crop to grow. What does it mean?

To give some numbers, it can take about 2000L of water to grow enough cotton for a pair of jeans, and another 700L of water for a cotton t-shirt. That’s one thirsty outfit for jeans and a basic tee combo.

2000L of water per pair of jeans, and 700L of water per t-shirt. Multiply that by the number of jeans and shirts we have in our own closets, our roommates’ closets, our family members’ closets. How many pairs of jeans can a suburban neighbourhood own? How much water is that exactly? The exact answer is that we don’t know, but we can do something about it so that they become aware of their thirsty closets.

It becomes apparent that the amount of clothing we consume per first-world neighbourhood creates a water crisis elsewhere. What can we do about it? Our communities are full of big problems, but we have enough people in a suburban neighbourhood who are capable of solving some of them. Think local.