Week 4 – Tobias Lau & thinking big « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Week 4 – Tobias Lau & thinking big


This week, we were visited by Tobias Lau who, alongside our creative director Vanessa Ahuactzin, worked on Bruce Mau’s project Massive Change. With his background of ethnography, Tobias is interested in studying and understanding people’s behaviour; as a designer, he is interested in how it can be influenced. This type of approach to design is often referred to as user-centred design and it is key component of the Design Thinking process.

This is the type of approach Tobias’ own company Socialaction uses. In the afternoon, Tobias presented us with some examples of his work and demonstrated how this approach can impact on social behaviour.

Tobias reminded us that we all posses the potential to effect the world that we live in. Showing us an image of an old Mahatma Ghandi, he said ‘People often say this guy brought peace to India but…’ flashing another image of Ghandi as a young man, he said ‘it wasn’t, it was this guy’.

Then, standing in front of an image of a grey haired Albert Einstein, Tobias said ‘…and people think this guy came up with the theory of relativity but…’ showing us a much younger Einstein, he said ‘it wasn’t, it was this guy.’

These images seem so far removed from the image we have of ourselves but they serve to illustrate how we all have the ability to change our world or even our universe! It is important to remember that these men, that enacted such huge change in the world, began life just the same as ourselves.

Adding to this, Tobius gave us the formula:

Think Big > Start Small > Scale Fast

So big ideas need to be made scalable. Thinking back on our experience with the KaosPilots, this reminded us of the importance of prototyping ideas. He also helped us learn that, in order to improve the interactive experience, the prototypes themselves need to be clearly thought through and well articulated.

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