Design Management Institute

Design Management Institute Los Angeles, C.A. 2014, 2016

“Design is very much about the
interconnectedness—a living-systems

In 2014, Sarah served as the Design Management Institute’s guest editor for dmi: Journal. The issue focused on social innovation.

“Design is very much about the interconnectedness—a livingsystems perspective.”

DMI is a non-profit that connects design to business, culture and customers to facilitate organizational change and encourage design-driven innovation.

In the curated issue, Sarah wanted to look at how to shift systems and society toward “healthier, more- resilient behaviors and dynamics, along with greater equity,” while understanding that that deep-level change would require strong craft-based tools, as well as a “capacity for introspection.”

The first issue included articles titled “Wicked Insights into Design Learning,” “Learning Emergent Strategies through Design Thinking,” and “Don’t Make Art, Do Industrial Design: A Voice from Industry.”

The issue highlighted successful system interventions and what a sustainable society might look like in action.

Sarah was invited back in 2016 to curate a “Design and Government” issue. It included “Designing American Government,” a Q&A with top leaders in government innovation, and “Customer Experience at Veterans Affairs,” which was written by Sarah.

Sarah also chaired a DMI workgroup on social innovation that included ideas, case studies, processes and tools to get people “working toward a sustainable society.”

And she gave a presentation at DMI’s Designing The Next Economy conference in Santa Monica, California. It brought together thoughts on how the echoes of mechanistic thinking are mirrored in the way people view the economy, and construct value– and how looking to living systems can provide a healthier model for what a living economy could be. It drew parallels to the increasing role that designers are playing a catalyzing and ongoing role in supporting the diversity, viability and resilience of communities—a move that is less about design authorship, and more about co-creating and revolutionizing change that searches out shared value and strengthens local economies in the process.

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