MEREDITH Strategy + Design

We design the places and spaces where people come together to do great work

Innovation--Smart and Lucky: Douglas Look

Douglas Look

Master of Design Methods student, IIT Institute of Design

Doug Look completes his Master of Design Methods at the Institute of Design in 2006, where he concentrates on developing user-centered tools and methods for research and analysis. Before coming to ID, in his role as Senior Product Manager and Design Strategist at Autodesk, Inc., Doug led efforts to develop and bring to market two new Computer Aided Design software applications. As a licensed architect with over 20 years of experience, he has sought ways to implement digital technology solutions to improve work flow processes while respecting traditional methods and practices.

I liked his formulation of "Be Smart/Get Lucky," which is provocative about the notion of chance (or maybe the elimination of chance?).

I also enjoyed his "Ways to get Smart..." by combining business and design sensibilities:

  • Have big dreams.
  • Include diverse disciplines.
  • Consider business frameworks
  • Stay naive.
  • Use structured methods
  • Be rigorous
  • Develop repeatable processes

Doug talked about methodologies, specifically about "insight tools," that he is developing. Key for him is the ability to isolate components of a problem, observe behaviors, develop insights, and then achieve innovation. He is building insights around support of tasks, encouragement of idea generation and building team and organizational culture.

His presentation (also look for it on the T drive) includes the history of development of Architectural Studio, as well as representations of the sophisticated tool sets he's developing for problem research, analysis and design synthesis--tools we could test to increase the opportunity for our own innovation and creativity, and increasing the perception of the value of design for our clients.