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Weekly Inspirations: May 5th, 2017

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

How using Design Thinking will fix Design Thinking

Design Thinking continues to be a hot topic (this article is one of many talking about it). Design Thinking has been hyped and even fetishized but there are also voices questioning its value, impact, and relevance. Design Thinking faces criticism for its lacking integration with business and compatibility with market reality. There are organizations that see Design Thinking as unnecessary rather than essential to driving organizational change and innovation. Does Design Thinking have to be reinvented or even replaced?
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The case against empathy

I’ve had my fill of empathy. Or to be more specific, all the talk of empathy in recent years. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for a human-centric approach to design, one that puts users first and attempts to understand how the world looks to them. But in design circles and many other fields, empathy has become little more than a buzzword, which, at its most vacuous, seems to mean nothing more than a soft bleating sound made when a small animal is in pain. At its most cynical, it’s a Silicon Valley euphemism for market research. As one colleague pungently put it, “Empathy is a rathole.” I wouldn’t go quite so far; but for the sake of semantic integrity, alone, I think that we as a community of design thinkers should self-impose an 18-month moratorium on using the word.
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How a Facebook designer overcame imposter syndrome

Going through a life-altering international move is hard. Starting fresh in a new city without any real ties is really hard. Accepting your first big-girl job you’re not sure you’re qualified for is almost unimaginable. Going to this new, shiny job every day and feeling as though you don’t have a support system of people who really get you and will catch you when you inevitably trip and fall—that’s nearly impossible.
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Why Being Obsessively Organized Makes You More Creative

I’ve never considered myself an artist. My handwriting is too neat, I enjoy coloring between the lines, and I don’t always get poetry. I imagine artists as forces of raw, unbridled creativity—messy, like mad scientists, but with more color, magic flowing out of their fingertips like a scene from Fantasia. I, on the other hand, live and die by my Google Calendar.
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Smart Things That Will Save the World

Today’s products were designed for the industrial era of browsing store aisles and making choices based on packaging. But now that we’re largely buying stuff online, it’s time to rethink that model. So, IDEO’s London and Munich studios teamed up to create an exhibition of six circular design fictions called Never Finished. Circular products and the materials they’re made of are designed to be kept in use, to be regenerative, and not to be thrown away. Tomorrow’s things will also be smart—with sensors and software built into them—which will allow us to improve their usefulness over time. Circular products promise to save both money and the planet. (You’ve heard about the great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean, right?) Take a peek at the potential future of product design:
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