Design Anthropology
April 2020

The beginner's mind

One of the most precious opportunities we have as designers is to serve people.

While most people associate design with aesthetics, problem-solving or functionality only, we believe that good design is much more than that. Ideally, it empowers people by deeply engaging them and setting the right conditions to act in ways that serve their needs best. In order to help organizations (re-) imagine the future that engages people in such a way, FLUID constantly builds its expertise in Design Anthropology - an undervalued but crucial practice for designing meaningful experiences.

A major challenge we face when immersing ourselves in new contexts is to discern how things really are, rather than imposing our own interpretations and meaning onto other people’s realities, by passing them through our personal filter. This is especially true for research where an unfiltered view of how (differently) people experience life is the foundation for uncovering insights for designing a better future.

We find that the concept of a Beginner’s Mind in Zen Buddhism is helpful to learn seeing clearly beyond biases and personal judgements as it teaches how to adopt an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject.

Have you ever thought about how meditation can help for better design? As the teaching goes: 'In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few‘.

by Julian Krauss
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