There are nine fellows in residence at the d.school (twelve, if you include our extraordinary teaching fellows, whom you've seen in starring roles here on the whiteboard). The number nine inspired this undertaking: "Design in Nine". Each fellow has answered five questions to provide a window into what they've learned since they arrived at the d.school last fall. Remember, they're also experts in their own right -- outside of their work in design thinking. Some answers are short, others are long. Some of the questions focus on the insightful, while others address the playful. By the end of this series, we hope to have given you nine sets of insights (and a design playlist of nine songs) to help you along with your design work.
Now, without further ado, Anne Gibbon, a graduate of the Naval Academy who (among many other accomplishments) went on to work for Naval Special Warfare, answers five questions on her work in design.
1. What is the most important thing you have learned about design thinking?
Without good empathy work, you've just got a slightly above average heart-rate brainstorming session.
2. What is your favorite song to play when leading a design workshop?
Marky Mark, Good Vibrations, obviously.
3. What is the best way you have found to achieve flow in your work?
I still thank the magic muse when Mistress Flow appears.
4. What is your top tip for empathy interviewing?
Quiet your mind and all the needs you feel to produce a thing. Just listen to stories. Be curious about another human being, for heaven's sake.
5. What is the hardest part of the design-thinking process?
Living with uncertainty.