Author: Patrick Suen
What do a former Olympic risk planner, an ecological restorer, a professional dancer, and a neuropsychologist have in common? They’ve all found ways to apply Design practices and principles to manage complex scenarios in a world that’s ambiguous and ever-changing. While typical problem solving approaches consist of a systematized set of methods and tools that must be applied in sequence, the individuals mentioned above have learned to leverage their personal experiences, values, and perspectives to create an approach that is rigorous yet flexible, and constantly being evaluated and updated. A key outcome is the ability to reframe problems in a way that uncovers deep and meaningful insights –ultimately leading to innovative solutions.In this study, 19 individuals were interviewed for their personal experiences and thoughts on their reframing process and key characteristics that enable them to reframe for innovation. In sharing their experiences and personal stories, the interviews became almost like a facilitated personal reflection exercise. Traits that are intrinsic and automatic were revealed to have deeply rooted origins in childhood activities, parental guidance, community upbringing, education, and work experience.