Hello!

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My name is Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer and I am a researcher, designer and educator in human-centred & systemic design in the context of social and public sector innovation. I believe that we need to develop a better understanding of the creative practices that are required to address today’s complex societal problems. As a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney I therefore study these practices, contribute to the development of methods and tools, and share this knowledge through my publications, website and education. My teaching is mainly focused on UTS’ Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation, a world-first, future-focused transdisciplinary degree. To assist public and social sector organisations in addressing complex societal problems I have co-founded a social and systemic design agency called RAD social design.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to know more and/or would like to collaborate. I am particularly interested in collaborating with:

  • public and social sector organisations who are looking for support in tackling complex societal problems
  • social design and innovation agencies who would like to exchange knowledge on design innovation practices
  • academics who would like to collaborate on research and education projects

How deep is deep?

Ever since the publication of Henry Dreyfuss’ book ‘Designing for People’ (1955) there has been general agreement in the design field that gaining insights into what people need, supports designing products that meet those needs. The idea of design driven by these types of insights is one of the main elements of ‘design thinking’ that has been adopted in sectors outside the traditional design domain, particularly in the private sector. Roger Martin (2009) for example wrote in his book ‘The design of business: why design thinking is the next competitive advantage’ that deep, user-centred understanding is an essential tool of the design thinker, and many others have argued that deep user or customer insights contribute to radical innovation. (more…)