A small downtown walking street with multicolored buildings and people walking down the road.

How Design Shapes our Future

When we start the design process, there's an exercise we often do with a larger group called "How might we?". This exercies helps us reckon with existing problems and gives us space to imageine a new future with our products. It removes existing limitations and technical constraints, so that we can come into the conversation without baggage. This is one of my favorite exercises and a great way to start brainstorming.

It's also impactful because it's the first step in create the future. We can and should be better at applying this type of thinking to our built environments.

"How might we make our communities more walkable?"
"How might we make our neighborhoods areas where children are safe and free to roam?"
"How might we improve the livability of our community?"

By starting here, we're able to also imagine a much more hopeful future—where we can start with idealism rather than having to shove our designs and dreams into an existing system that's already broken.

We are too timid with our imagination. We settle for a Blade Runner dystopia (I'm talking about that violently design Tesla truck), when we should be striving for the beauty of Wakanda. We refuse to ask better questions and end up getting the same horrible results over and over again.

Let's bring this design technique into our lives. How might we—how might you—imagine a more beautiful and caring world?