Humans as part of the system
Human-centred design is among the most noble of the design methodologies. However, at first glance its name implies a tendency to act in favour of the human above all other things. This self interested interpretation is entirely understandable, but it fails to explain that in some instances the best way to serve the human may be to serve our environment.
This was the experience of Agnes Pyrchla, a strategist at frog, who recently found herself marrying participatory design and permaculture in the Brazilian rainforest. In one example, Pyrchla found that putting something else at the centre of our design had a positive effect on both human and environment.
If the fish were happy in the pond that we built, we would spend less energy and fewer resources trying to keep them there.
This multidimensional approach, sometimes referred to as holistic design, is a slower and far more difficult process, but it may be the most reliable tool we have to maintain human interests sustainably.
Inspired by: Designing Beyond the Human Experience