Ecosystem-minded Design

with 2 Comments


How might we apply the object perspective to design practice? The answer might be through developing a design methodology beyond human-centred design, which is one of the common design methodologies in design industry these days.

Until now, design has been used mostly to amplify revenue. Meanwhile, companies have pursued profit rather than taking care of their consumers. After all, ‘user-centred design’ has been developed to focus on a consumer rather than a producer. Before long, ‘human-centred design’ has emerged to consider all (human) stakeholders in a design process. It is true that humans are an essential element in design. Nevertheless, the idea of putting something in the center has revealed its limitation to deal with climate change. Since the earth is already in Anthropocene, designing the world based on human-centric approach might be even dangerous. Hence, we need to be conscious of other elements such as non-living objects in the ecosystem. In other words, everything has to be well-networked and well-interacted within the whole system.

Based on the idea, I’m proposing a next design methodology called ‘Ecosystem-minded Design’. In this methodology, none of the entities is positioned in the center. Instead, all entities should be considered together in a design process. This method brings with it a humble attitude towards us as humans. If current models such as the circular economy and sharing economy are ways to prolong the ‘used’ product’s lifetime, this proposed methodology is trying to intervene in the early stage of the product lifecycle to reduce unnecessary design activities and natural destruction before making ‘new’ products.

2 Responses

  1. Damien
    | Reply

    Fantastic! Let’s just not lose the power of empathy and inclusiveness of co-design which was also a large contribution of HCD. Where do emotions and thick data sit in EMD?

    • Sungmy
      | Reply

      Hi Damien, thanks for reaching my project and inspiring me! I’m developing the concept of EMD to reveal emotions and thick data among non-living things to move beyond HCD. Please keep in touch on the topic. -Sungmy (

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