The Life-centred Designer Issue#2


Welcome to your monthly inspiration of tools, tips, and resources to start life-centring your design practice.

Each issue is timed with the New Moon, symbolizing fresh starts and new opportunities:

🧠 A new life-centred design mindset

✏️ Tools and methods to apply the mindset

πŸ“£ Updates about what I've been doing

πŸ“š A few good things to read or watch
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Choose just one tool every New Moon and experiment with it for the following month, as an easy, no-pressure way of slowly expanding your design to be more life-centred.

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This month's life-centred design mindset

Doing Less Harm is about designing and redesigning your products and services to:

  1. Take less from the world
  2. Produce less waste and pollution
  3. Enable reuse, repair, and recycling

Doing More Good is about innovating your project to give back more to the people and environmental lifeforms it takes from, regenerate them, and nurture your relationship with them. It's about using your prosperity and influence to:

  1. Nurture the needs of the people and environmental lifeforms your project impacts
  2. Help to reduce the challenges faced by these people and environmental lifeforms
  3. Help heal any past damage and avoid perpetuating harm

You can also empower others to do less harm and more good with you by informing your customers, partners, connected communities, and the public:

  1. Inform people about the humans and environmental lifeforms that make possible their experience with your project
  2. Offer them practical options to support these humans and environmental lifeforms
  3. Encourage them to form ongoing habits that are more sustainable and regenerative

Tools and methods to do less harm and more good

Do Less Harm:

πŸ‘©πŸΎβ€πŸ’» In digital design, you can do less harm by reducing the amount of energy used and carbon outputted by your digital experiences by employing sustainable web design:

🏒 In industrial product design, you can do less harm by:

  • Extending the lifetime of your products by using durable materials
  • Using sustainable and non-toxic materials
  • Designing modular so parts can be replaced and repaired easily
  • Making user-repair possible and easy
  • Finding ways to reduce or reuse any waste, offcuts, etc.
  • Developing post-use loops of reuse, refurbishment, and recycling by offering end-of-use programs like take-back programs, trade-ins for credit, etc.

Do More Good:

  • Create non-human and non-user personas for the human and natural resources you rely on to learn about their needs and challenges
  • Promote and/or donate to existing organisations that support them
  • Innovate ways your business can directly support and involve them

Inform, Enable, and Encourage

  • Provide information at your physical locations and on your digital channels to inform staff, users, partners, and the public about the natural and human communities their experience with you relies on, and offer them ways to support and connect with them, such as offering web links to donation platforms and events

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What I've been up to

πŸͺ„ New tool! A Life-Centered User Journey Map
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A user journey map to help you optimise the user experience AND its sustainability and inclusivity.

  • Optimise user experience
  • Reduce negative impacts to the environment and vulnerable/unseen humans
  • Regenerate the human and non-humans you impact

​Access the Miro template​

πŸ‘¨πŸΌβ€πŸ« Guest Lecture for Design For Good Academy​
In February, I had the honour to guest lecture for the Royal College of Art and the Design for Good Academy about life-centred design and non-human personas.
The Academy brings together designers from around the world to design solutions for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goalsβ€”such an honour to share my learnings in a course with other speakers like Don Norman, Daniel Christian Wahl!
I shared how to use non-human personas and some life-centred design mindsetsβ€”Read more about these on Linkedin​

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🐝 New persona examples have been added to the Non-human Persona Library, a new template from Shannon Daly, and a nice reskin of the lifecentred.design template by Superbravasβ€”check them out in the library​

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Life-centred design reads

Books and articles to expand your skills, knowledge, and planetary connection.

This month, I'm sharing my three design guides!

πŸ“— The Life-centred Design Guide
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An exploration of fringe and emerging design approaches and how they can merge to form a new framework for life-centred designβ€”a way to expand human-centred design to innovate more regenerative and socially just solutions. Includes exercises, methods, and downloadable tools.
​Learn more about the The Life-centred Design Guide​
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πŸ“˜ The Non-human Persona Guide

A follow-up and support guide to The Life-centred Design Guide, this book focuses on how to identify the animals, environments, and invisible humans your projects impact, and how to make and use personas to give them a voice. Includes methods and downloadable tools.
​Learn more about The Non-human Persona Guide​

πŸ“˜ Future Scouting

A fun and practical step-by-step guide to designing life-centred, values-driven future tech products with speculative design and design fiction. Includes methods and downloadable tools.​
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Learn more about the Future Scouting book and the online hub.

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That's a wrap!

Until next month, don't forget to check out:

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Keep learning and having fun :)

Damien Lutz

Founder of Lifecentred.design and futurecouting.com.au​

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1-11 Hunter St, Sydney, NSW 2017
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