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Day 1


Mark Whiting

Better design through science

Abstract :

Creative design is risky, and we all make mistakes. Many mistakes can be traced back to an incorrect assumption. Assumptions can't be completely avoided, but they can be managed in order to improve creative output. In this workshop, we'll learn techniques to manage assumptions by thinking from first principles, testing hypotheses, and tracking how assumptions change throughout the design process. Participants will work through case studies and small group projects with feedback and discussion.

Goals :

  1. Participants will learn to identify logical fallacies and assumptions that reduce the quality of design.
  2. Participants will learn methods to avoid making unfounded assumptions when designing
  3. Participants will learn to develop experiments to accurately answer questions about their design
  4. Participants will gain first-hand experience and take home summaries in order to be able to teach similar methods to members of their own communities


  • Hour1: Introductions, icebreakers, and an initial exercise in understanding the assumptions we make when designing
  • Hour2: Short talk introducing a scientific process for design that is based on identifying assumptions, experimentation, and vetting ideas
  • Hour3: Practicing first-principle thinking techniques with a case project, feedback and discussion
  • Hour4: Practicing experimental design. Feedback and discussion of the process. Preparing materials to present results
  • Hour5: Presenting projects as groups, discussing findings and ideas about changing internal practices

PDF Document

Public Services Providers and Governmental Institutions

Mark Whiting

Mark Whiting and Ardon Shorr combine international experience and professional expertise in communication and design.

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