Designing for the system rather than the individual

Design thinking has grown from tool to religion. I’ve watched as companies were able to transform themselves by embracing design thinking. But it’s not always the right answer. Not everyone needs to have the word designer in their job title. Sometimes I wonder what actual designers should call themselves now that the word design has been rendered bankrupt by a hundred-thousand MBAs armed with post-its and an unholy hunger for human empathy.

In Beyond The Cult Of Human-Centered Design, Co.Design argues for a need to go beyond human-centered design. They propose humanity centered design, which sounds like a shallow semantic, but is different in that it takes into account the big picture. The world beyond the user, the systems made of users, the scope of time, life beyond empathy.

Instead of merely asking How might we, maybe we should also be asking At what cost.