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重温10年前的好书:如何用设计拯救世界

Tim Brown, Barry Katz 2019年02月25日

今天的设计师学会了不光考虑单个产品,同时也要考虑体系,也就是包含产品的意义、行为和权力构成的复杂社会网络。

“设计思维”是一种灵活而有力的工具,可以应对极为复杂的社会体系。蒂姆·布朗写道。“重新设计民主?没问题!”图片来源:Christie Hemm Klok for Fortune

1991年成立的全球性设计公司IDEO热衷于打造重要又有用的产品,比如苹果公司的鼠标,再比如礼来公司的胰岛素注射笔。该公司或许也是最出名的“设计思维”践行者,现在人们常利用“设计思维”合作解决商业难题,通过创新和创造性方式破除障碍,解决劳动者与技术,以及消费者和产品之间互动的问题。

IDEO的总裁兼首席执行官蒂姆·布朗与该组织的合伙人巴里·卡茨在2009年最畅销书籍《用设计去改变》(Change by Design)中向商业界推荐了设计思维。在定于今年3月发行的该书新版中,他们表示这种做法可以升级,从而解决社会上最难缠的“棘手问题”。

Founded in 1991, the global design firm IDEO has created radical and useful products ranging from Apple’s computer mouse to insulin-delivery systems for Eli Lilly. The firm has also become perhaps the best-known practitioner of “design thinking,” a collaborative approach to solving business problems that delves into the interactions of worker and technology, customer and product, in innovative and creative-block-busting ways.

In his 2009 bestseller, Change by Design, IDEO president and CEO Tim Brown, with IDEO fellow Barry Katz, evangelized design thinking to the business world. In an updated edition, to be published in March, they make the case that the practice can scale up to tackle even society’s most intractable “wicked problems.”

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在10年前出版《用设计去改变》一书时,我们主要想说明两点。首先,设计思维拓展了设计的应用层面,可用来应对企业和社会面临的挑战。应用了设计思维,以人为中心,创造性地处理问题,就有望找到全新也更有效的解决方案。其次,设计思维的范畴不仅包括专业设计师掌握的复杂技能,只要希望学习掌握当中思路的人都可以学会。

从那以后,世界各地的企业、社会组织和学术机构纷纷接受了我们称之为设计思维的一整套方法。苹果、Alphabet、IBM和SAP等一些最有影响力的科技公司已经将设计作为运营的真正核心。在整个硅谷乃至全世界,设计师成为了颠覆性初创公司创始团队的一部分。医疗保健系统、金融服务公司和管理咨询机构现在都会定期聘用设计师,而教师则把设计思维带到了从幼儿园到高中的各类教室和课程中。

设计思维确实已经真正成熟。但我们还不应该急于庆祝,因为有人问我们,是什么让这样的思路真正发挥出巨大的作用,这是个好问题。

设计和技术的交叉领域对这个问题特别有共鸣,原因是社交媒体的商业模式、人工智能以及互联网显露出了它们的阴暗面。设计思维并非“看不见的手”,采用这种思维模式的人有责任弄清楚其设计的结果。在这个时候,设计中“看得见的手”要有意识地选择技术为人类服务的方式。

和众多设计思维使用者合作的设计师应将精力集中在哪些问题上呢?随着我们在21世纪向前迈进,有一点越发清晰,那就是多数社会制度都不再与其目的相契合。它们旨在满足第一个机器时代的要求,而且从19世纪或20世纪初以来就基本没有改变过。如果可以成功地把我们的设计思维技能用于当今真正的“棘手问题”,那会产生什么样的影响呢?

在IDEO过去10年所做的项目,我们可以找到一系列进退两难的局面,尽管它们的体量巨大而宽泛,但设计已经开始为它们描绘有前途的解决方案了。

When we published Change by Design a decade ago, we set out to make two points. First, design thinking expands the canvas for design to address the challenges facing business and society; it shows how a human-centered, creative problem-solving approach offers the promise of new, more effective solutions. Second, design thinking reaches beyond the hard-won skills of the professional trained designer and should be available to anyone who wishes to master its mindsets.

Since then, the cluster of approaches we call design thinking has been embraced by businesses, social organizations, and academic institutions in every part of the world. Some of the most influential technology companies—Apple, Alphabet, IBM, SAP—have moved design to the very heart of their operations. Designers are part of the founding teams of disruptive startups across Silicon Valley and around the world. Health care systems, financial services firms, and management consultancies now regularly employ designers, while teachers are bringing design thinking to kindergarten classes, senior high school courses, and everything in between.

Design thinking has truly come of age. And yet we should not rush to congratulate ourselves, for we are rightly asked what it takes for such thinking to truly have significant impact.

That question has particular resonance at the intersection of design and technology, as the business models of social media, artificial intelligence, and the Internet reveal their dark sides. Design thinking is not “the invisible hand”: Design thinkers have a responsibility to understand the outcomes they are designing for. This is a moment for “the visible hand” of design to make intentional choices about how we wish technology to serve humanity.

What are the problems to which designers, in partnership with the broader population of design thinkers, should be directing our energies? As we dive deeper into the 21st century, it becomes clearer that the majority of our societal systems are no longer fit for their purposes. They were designed to meet the requirements of the first machine age and have remained essentially unchanged since the 19th and early 20th centuries. What might be the impact if we can successfully apply our design-thinking skills to today’s truly “wicked problems”?

Through the lens of IDEO’s project work over the past decade, we can identify a cluster of dilemmas for which design has begun to chart promising solutions, even at this vast and open-ended scale.

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重新设计制度

2011年,我们遇到了这样的机会,具体来说是秘鲁商人卡洛斯·罗德里格斯-帕斯托提出的一项要求。秘鲁的科学、数学和民众阅读能力一直处于全球倒数位置;这个国家缺乏受过教育的劳动力,有可能浪费掉自身经济快速增长带来的机遇。罗德里格斯-帕斯托想设计出新的教育制度,进而提供给还不够富足的新生中产阶层,同时能在全国推广。

对所有以人为中心的设计过程来说,第一阶段都是弄清楚问题的大小。在秘鲁,一支应要求进行实地研究的团队融入了具有代表性的利益相关者的生活中,后者包括教师和管理者、企业负责人和教育部官员、家长,当然还有在校学生。通过上门观察、集体采访、搜集故事、实地考察和硬数据,该团队围绕着问题及其制约因素,还有它带来的机遇完成了评估。然后他们开始着手工作。

在设计师的工具箱中深入搜索一番后,一个人员更多的团队不光制定出了策略,还拿出了建立和管理幼儿园-小学体系的方法,其中包括课程、授课技术和资源、教师发展、场所、经营方案、数据指标、知识共享体系以及财务模型。建立该模型的目的是让学校可以每个月只收130美元,这样的费用并不高(无法通过正常市场机制支撑的想法可能永远只会是个愿景)。2018年学年到来时,秘鲁建起了49所Innova学校,招收了超过3.7万名学生并聘请了约2000名教师;墨西哥也开始试行类似的模式。

我们在秘鲁学到的是绝对势在必行的一体化全系统设计的价值,从最基本层面了解问题的价值,按最广泛内涵锁定问题的价值以及动员所需专业领域来解决问题的价值。另一点关键体会是,学校是设计出来的,它并不亚于太阳镜、街头标识或电动车,而且和其他所有人类文明造物一样,学校的设计也有好有坏,甚至有可能被设计为针对再也无关紧要的问题。

狄恩·罗根是洛杉矶县的户籍记录员/县书记官,这个头衔绝对没有任何设计色彩。在这个职位上,他管理着美国最大的投票区,其中的选民数量超过了美国50个州中的42个,而且必须用十几种语言予以支持。罗根找到我们并直截了当地提出问题:“咱们能设计一个新的投票系统吗?一个所有选民都能用的系统?”重新设计民主?没问题!

以前,这可能意味着这个问题的范畴相当于重新设计用了50年的投票机。虽然设计师无不以这件“神器”为荣,但今天的设计师也学会了不光考虑单个产品,同时也要考虑体系,也就是包含产品的意义、行为和权力构成的复杂社会网络。我们学会了不去想名词(“我们怎么设计出更好的投票机?”),而是考虑动词——“更好地强化民主体验的方法是什么?”聚焦于名词时,我们把自己困在了渐进式思维模式中:一把更好的牙刷、一张更舒服的办公椅、一台更安静的空调。但如果考虑的是动词,我们就可以揭开这个问题的盖子,并且能够处理其中所有错综复杂的难点,而这一直是真正创新的条件。

最终,在我们和洛杉矶县以及Digital Foundry联手拿出的参考性设计中,社会和行为科学研究的比重跟机械和软件工程一样多。我们的团队花了数百小时来观察、聆听、采访并进行用户测试,目的是了解人们前往投票站的动机。他们接触到的选民有坐轮椅的,有发育不全的,还有盲人(甚至连盲人歌手史提夫·汪达都参与验证了其中一款机器)。他们观察了将投票机装上卡车的工人,这些卡车将把投票机运往4800个投票站,还采访了投票机运抵后负责将其组装起来的志愿者。他们发现了物理障碍,也看到了安全、隐私和信任方面的无形阻力,还学会了应付充斥着政治、立法和监管因素的环境。以此项广泛研究为基础,这个团队明确了一系列设计原则,并在几十台原型机上进行了测试。最终他们拿出了行得通的型号,其指导原则只有一条,那就是面向所有人的机器。

这个叫做“Project Vox”的项目能治愈困扰美国民主的顽疾吗?可能不行。但3.1万台新型投票机在2020年大选中上阵时,我们将会了解到很多东西。

Redesigning institutions

One such opportunity came to us in 2011, in the form of a request from a Peruvian businessman, Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor. Peru consistently ranks near the bottom on global measures of science, mathematics, and reading proficiency; lacking an educated workforce, the country was at risk of squandering the opportunities afforded by its rapid economic growth. Rodriguez-Pastor wanted nothing less than to design a new education system, accessible to an emerging, but not yet affluent, middle class and scalable across the country.

The first phase of any human-centered design process is to understand the scope of the problem. In Peru, this required fielding a research team whose members embedded themselves in the lives of representative stakeholders: teachers and administrators; business leaders and Ministry of Education officials; parents and, of course, the schoolchildren themselves. Using in-home observations, group interviews, stories from the field, site visits, and hard data, the team formed an assessment of the problem, the constraints surrounding it, and the opportunities it offered. Then they got to work.

Reaching deep into the designer’s toolkit, an expanded team created not only a strategy but the means of implementing and managing a scalable K–12 school system: the curriculum, instructional techniques and resources, teacher development, buildings, operational plans, data dashboards, and knowledge-¬sharing systems, and a financial model designed to allow the schools to charge a modest $130 monthly fee. (A visionary idea that cannot be sustained through normal market mechanisms is likely to remain just that: a vision.) The 2018 school year opened with 49 Innova Schools across Peru, enrolling more than 37,000 students and employing some 2,000 teachers; an adaptation is being piloted in Mexico.

What we learned in Peru was the value—¬indeed, the absolute imperative—of integrated whole-systems design, of understanding a problem at its most fundamental level, locating it within its broadest context, and mobilizing the fields of expertise necessary to tackle it. Another key insight: Schools, no less than sunglasses, street signs, or electric scooters, are designed—and like any other artifact of our civilization, they may be designed well or poorly, or may simply have been designed to meet challenges that are no longer relevant.

Dean Logan holds the supremely undesignerly title of Los Angeles County registrar-recorder/county clerk. In that capacity, he oversees the biggest voting jurisdiction in the U.S., with a voter population larger than that of 42 of the 50 American states and which must be supported in more than a dozen languages. Logan sought us out with a straightforward question: “Could we design a new voting system, one that works for all voters?” Redesign democracy? No problem!

In the past, that might have meant framing the problem as the redesign of a 50-year-old voting machine. While there is no designer who does not honor the artifact, designers today are learning to think not only in terms of stand-alone products but also of systems, the complex social networks of meaning, behavior, and power within which products are embedded. We are learning to think not about nouns (“How might we design a better voting machine?”) but of verbs: “What would be a better way to enhance the democratic experience?” When we focus on nouns, we lock ourselves into an incremental mindset: a better toothbrush, a more comfortable desk chair, a quieter air conditioner. But when we think about verbs, we blow the roof off the problem and are able to approach it in all of its wicked complexity, which has always been the condition of real innovation.

The reference design we ultimately created, in partnership with Los Angeles County and Digital Foundry, is as much a study in the social and behavioral sciences as mechanical and software engineering. The team spent hundreds of hours observing, listening, interviewing, and conducting user-testing sessions in order to understand the motivations people bring to the ballot box. They met with voters who are confined to wheelchairs, who are developmentally disabled, and who are blind (even Stevie Wonder weighed in to help validate one of the models). They observed the workers who load the machines onto the trucks that will deliver them to 4,800 polling locations, and interviewed the volunteers who will assemble them once they arrive. They identified physical obstacles as well as the intangibles of security, privacy, and trust, and learned to navigate the fraught political, legislative, and regulatory environment. On the basis of this far-flung research, the team articulated a set of design principles, tested them on dozens of prototypes, and ultimately created a working model guided by a single, overarching philosophy: one machine for all.

Will “Project Vox” solve the malaise afflicting American democracy? Probably not. But we’ll learn a lot when 31,000 new voting devices are rolled out in time for the 2020 elections.

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重新设计设计本身

新技术的不断爆发以及当今联网世界的无休止整合正在推动我们把设计思维用于更为复杂的体系。IDEO的“未来汽车”团队已经在设法捕捉自动驾驶汽车的基本技术,比如从现实角度出发预测其所能和所不能,同时考虑技术重塑人类城市的可能途径。在我们去年收购的数据科学公司Datascope帮助下,我们启动了一个名为D4AI(Design for Augmented Intelligence,增强智能设计)的项目,其目的是确保下一代智能产品,比如手机、汽车、服装、药物和服务能和我们建立动态而灵活的关系,并能对日常生活节奏做出反应。我们甚至开始把设计思维用在重新想象临终体验上。

但在设计师以及设计思维采用者的日程上,最让人望而却步的任务是实现“循环经济”。现代社会建立的基础是假设资源无穷无尽,取之不竭——以前谁能想到也许有一天石油会用完?森林或鱼类会消失?或者没有空地来放置人类物质文明的副产品?而现在,我们发现自己恰恰处于这样的困境之中,我们的线性经济始于矿山、采石场或石油钻机,终止于垃圾填埋场,它把我们封锁了起来。

与之相反,循环经济旨在尽可能地保持产品、零部件和资源的价值并尽量予以回收。我们有能力把工业体系重新设计成可恢复和可再生的,有能力把废品改造成下一代工业的营养,也有能力重新考虑产品生命周期一定有起点、过程和终点的假设,这样的能力将成为后代评价我们这一代人的标准。

欧盟和中国都已经提出向可再生循环经济转型的目标。越来越多的全球性公司,比如苹果、飞利浦、Steelcase和欧莱雅也投身其中。2017年,IDEO和艾伦麦克阿瑟基金会共同提出了为企业制定实际路线图的目标。通过我们的循环经济指南(Circular Economy Guide,免费在网上提供),我们开始和行业龙头接触,以找到能创造新价值、实现长期经济繁荣和生态稳定并且盈利的业务模式。现在,我们就要提出具体可行的措施了,它们可以作为原型,可以试点,也可以扩展。

当第一批工业设计师挂出自己的招牌,当第一批图形设计师拿出打印图稿,当第一代数字设计师参悟到互联网的奥秘时,谁能想到,凭借他们的非正统培训和频频反主流的做法,这些设计师也会在某一天在应对如此紧急和复杂的挑战时发挥主要作用?

但目前的情况就是如此,而且我们现在面对的正是其中最严峻的挑战:为满足上述需要而对设计进行重新设计。(财富中文网)

蒂姆·布朗是IDEO总裁兼CEO。巴里·卡茨是IDEO合伙人及加州艺术学院设计专业教授。

本文的另一版本刊登在2019年3月出版的《财富》杂志上,题目是《新蓝图》。

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Redesigning design itself

The continuous eruptions of new technology and the relentless integration of today’s connected universe are driving us to apply design thinking to ever more complex systems. IDEO’s “Future of Automobility” team has set out to grasp the underlying technologies of the autonomous vehicle—what it realistically can and cannot be expected to do—and to consider the ways the technology could reshape our cities. With Datascope, a data-science company we acquired last year, we have launched a new practice we call D4AI, or “Design for Augmented Intelligence,” which aims to ensure that the next generation of smart products—our phones, our cars, our clothing, our medications, our services—will engage us in ways that are dynamic, flexible, and responsive to the rhythms of everyday life. We’ve even begun to apply design thinking to reimagine the end-of-life experience.

But perhaps the most daunting task on the agenda of designers—and design thinkers—is enabling the “circular economy.” The modern world was founded on the assumption that our resources are infinite and inexhaustible: Who could have imagined that we might one day run out of oil? Or forests? Or fish? Or empty places to dispose of the by-products of our material prosperity? But that is precisely the predicament in which we now find ourselves, locked as we are into a linear economy that begins in a mine, quarry, or oil rig and ends in a landfill.

A circular economy, in contrast, aims to retain and recover as much value as possible from products, parts, and resources. Our ability to redesign industrial systems to be restorative and regenerative, to transform waste into a nutrient for the next generation of industry, and to rethink the assumption that product life cycles must have a beginning, a middle, and an end, will be the measure against which our generation will be judged.

The transition to a regenerative circular economy is now a declared objective of the European Union and of China, and a growing list of companies with global reach, such as Apple, Philips, Steelcase, and L’Oréal, have committed themselves to its implementation. In 2017, IDEO partnered with the Ellen ¬MacArthur Foundation with the goal of producing a practical road map for businesses. Through our Circular Economy Guide (freely available online), we have begun to engage industry leaders in the pursuit of a business model that creates new value, delivers long-term economic prosperity and ecological stability—and turns a profit. And we are now in a position to propose concrete, practical measures that can be prototyped, piloted, and scaled.

Who would have thought, when the first industrial designers hung out their shingles, when the first graphic designers laid out a printed page, when the first generation of digital designers grappled with the mysteries of the Internet, that by virtue of their unorthodox training and their frequently antiestablishment practices, they would also one day have a major role to play in addressing challenges so urgent and complex?

But that is exactly what has happened, and we are now face-to-face with the biggest challenge of them all: to redesign design to meet these needs.

Tim Brown is the president and CEO of IDEO. Barry Katz is an IDEO fellow and a professor of design at California College of the Arts.

A version of this article appears in the March 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “The New Blueprint.”

 

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