12.30.21
Lee Moreau + Lesley-Ann Noel | Audio

The Futures Archive S1E11: The Recipe


Do you have a favorite recipe? Do you follow it to the letter? On this episode of The Futures Archive Lee Moreau and Lesley-Ann Noel discuss how recipes apply to human centered design and the importance of abductive thinking.

With additional insights from Xinyi Liu, Julia Collin Davison, and Jon Kolko.

Lee asked Lesley-Ann about the relationship between design and cooking:
This is what's exciting about thinking about design when it's not tied to object production. Then you can start to see the design process across different disciplines. So the person who is cooking is going through the design process, they're thinking about the ingredients that they have and the different ways they're going to manipulate them. They're already designing the outcome at the end. So it's a very designerly process, even though people might not always see the design process within it.

Lee Moreau is President of Other Tomorrows, a design and innovation consultancy based in Boston, and a Lecturer in MIT’s D Minor program.

Lesley-Ann Noel is an assistant professor of Art + Design at North Carolina School of Design and practices design through emancipatory, critical and anti-hegemonic lenses,  focusing on equity, social justice and the experiences of people who are often excluded from design research.

Xinyi Liu is an archaeologist of food, cuisines, and environments and an Associate Professor of Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Julia Collin Davison is the executive editor of America's Test Kitchen cookbooks and a co-host of the PBS television shows “America's Test Kitchen“ and “Cook's Country.”

Jon Kolko is the founder of Austin Center for Design, a progressive educational institution teaching interaction design and social entrepreneurship, and a partner at Modernist Studio.



Subscribe to The Futures Archive on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app. And you can browse the show archive.

Kathleen Fu created the illustrations for each episode.

A big thanks to this season’s sponsor, Automattic.

And to our education partner, Adobe. For lesson plans created for each epsiode, visit Adobe's Education Exchange.



Transcript

Lee Moreau
Welcome to The Futures Archive, a show about human centered design, where this season, we'll take an object, look for the human at the center, and keep asking questions. I'm Lee Moreau...

Lesley-Ann Noel
...and I'm Lesley-Ann Noel.

Lee Moreau
On each episode we're going to start with an object. Today, the object is a recipe — which is not really an object, but we're going to get into that. We'll look at the history of that object from our perspective as designers who've done work in human centered design. Not just how that object looks and feels, but also the relationship between that object and the people it was designed for,

Lesley-Ann Noel
and with other humans too.

Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive is brought to you by the design team at Automattic. Later on, we'll hear from product designer Joen Asmussen. The Futures Archive's education partner, this season, is Adobe.

Lee Moreau
Lesley-Ann, thank you so much for being here today. It's great to see you.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Thank you, Lee. I'm so excited about this show.

Lee Moreau
So for the for the sake of our listeners, tell us a little bit more about what you're doing academically and just where you find yourself right now.

Lesley-Ann Noel
So I am speaking to you right now from Raleigh, North Carolina. I am an assistant professor at North Carolina State University and I'm a faculty member within the Department of Design Studies. And sometimes I don't know what that means, but it means that I do talk about design in a program that is not studio based. So we discuss design in much broader ways and students who are focused on maybe graphic design or industrial design or architecture.

Lee Moreau
You spoke in my class earlier this semester, and I remember you were kind of proposing your idea of pluriversal design education sort of as a provocation to the students to challenge them to think about like: Hey, you know, you're here in class, you're learning about design— what do you actually think should be part of design education? What should be a part of that conversation and really part of the things that are being brought to the table as part of design learning?

Lesley-Ann Noel
So I run a group within the Design Research Society called the pluriversal design special interest group. The pluriverse is a world of many worlds. And so we are interested in the many worlds of design, you know, because the way we often talk about design, we learn about design, it's really very Eurocentric or North American centric, or you could say, northern Atlantic centric— and within the group, we're very interested in just what's going on in design in worlds that are maybe less visible, whether it is around race, around gender to a lesser extent, but definitely around geography. This is the kind of work that I do, I talk about design in these other places.

Lee Moreau
I'm glad you clarified that because you had mentioned that your focus on design that's not studio based and I think for most people, they think of design as yielding an outcome that comes from a studio, it's a thing like something something is designed. Some object is design,That's the kind of traditional sense of design. In your world if it's not so focused on design of things and outcomes where does that take you?

Lesley-Ann Noel
It takes us to many different places, right? So like, like my Ph.D., for example— so I will put some children in Trinidad, and yes, they were designing things. But the aim of that design process was to foster critical consciousness and awareness, which is now we will start to get a little academic. But that's building on the work of Paulo Freire and pedagogy of the oppressed and developing that critical awareness of conciousness of sound in people. So that's what that design curriculum was about. So yes, you're making things, but you are reflecting critically on society while you're making things, right. And part of it is really like about even my own survival. You know where I did- I'm an industrial designer, and I went back to a place, to Trinidad, that didn't have the kinds of industries that I thought I would just be able to fit within. I was like trying to think, OK, how could I— I've learned this thing that maybe is not useful in this place. Is it actually useful? So I guess a lot of my own questions about design have been non object focused because you might be in a place where no one's making objects. And so what do you do?

Lee Moreau
Yeah, you have design skills, but you don't know how to contribute,

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yes

Lee Moreau
To the society that you're in, right? So then how do we use the tools of design thinking, humans centered designed to make change in that context?

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yes, definitely.

Lee Moreau
So that takes us to the topic. I think of the recipe. But before we get started on that kind of history of the recipe, I'm wondering if you have a go-to recipe? Like what is that thing that, that you might go to all the time? Or do you even use recipes when you actually cook?

Lesley-Ann Noel
So I am a chaos cook, right. So I actually hardly ever use recipes. One recipe that I have used quite a bit as one for bread. And then the other thing that I really love to cook is curry, and that's something that I talk about, I talk about it a lot. A lot.

Lee Moreau
You talk about curry a lot and we're going to get into that, I'm sure, later on.

Lesley-Ann Noel
And so, you know, sometimes, well, I never use a recipe anymore, but I had to learn how to cook curry from a recipe, you know, whereas some people learn from, like their parents, you know, their mother in particular or grandmother. But I learned that from a recipe. And now I've kind of like just thrown away the recipe book and I just have fun.

Lee Moreau
So as we embark on this journey together, we're going to hear from some experts on the recipe. Believe it or not, there are historians of recipes or at least people who have studied deeply, how food transitioned from just this fuel that we eat into things that we care about and taste and you know it look forward to. So we'll talk to a lot of these people, some historians, and they're going to give us a sense of how the recipe came to be. And this is what we've heard so far.

Xinyi Liu
Between roughly 7000 and 3500 years ago, we see a large episode of kind of movement of these uh crops.

Lee Moreau
Xinyi Liu is a food archeologist and associate professor of archeology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Xinyi Liu
There is a kind of a geographical decoupling of the food and the cuisines. So on the one hand, to the grains and animals and will be in long distance. On the other hand, the way in which they are cooked and not to follow the the movements. The new food items tend to adapt the into the local cuisine.

Lee Moreau
The technology of cooking didn't follow as fast as the ingredients moved in. Where this kind of I think gets into design is like understanding that the techniques that we use in our-in our daily lives, or maybe our professional lives and our cooking lives are slowly, slowly evolving. Whereas there's always like sudden disruptions that come up like a new idea or new this or new that. But the processes are very slow to adapt, and I find this super fascinating.

Lesley-Ann Noel
You know, I got kind of hung up with with something else that you were- that we were just listening to where I always wondered— so who thought about doing this first? You know, when you think about ingredients like. Who could figure out that wheat turns into flour, you know? Or I think that that is something that is really exciting about food and then ties back to design in a kind of interesting way, you know. Somebody has to design these tools and these processes to make this stuff happen.

Julia Collin Davison
My job is to think of new ways to cook something. I mean, there's a zillion ways to cook an egg.

Lee Moreau
Julia Colin Davidson is the executive editor of America's Test Kitchen Cookbooks and a co-host of the PBS television shows America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country.

Julia Collin Davison
What could make it more interesting? Make it more delicious, make it more nutritional, make it easier, make it faster, make more efficient. So there's cooking an egg, and then you look at how to cook an egg through different lenses, and it depends what lens you want.

Lee Moreau
I've always wondered about this process, right, and how this works. When I was at Continuum, we were just a couple of floors above America's Test Kitchen. So where-where Julia is actually working I used to work in a studio adjacent to it, and we had this big maker space for prototyping and for building stuff. But they had this big maker space as well, which was this massive industrial kitchen. And it struck me then and as I hear Julia's description that there's a relationship between design and cooking.

Lesley-Ann Noel
And so this is what's exciting about thinking about design not tied so much to object production. That you can start to see the design process across different disciplines, you know, so that the person who is cooking is going through that design process, you know, they're thinking about the ingredients that they have and what are the different ways they're going to manipulate these ingredients. They're already designing the outcome at the end. So like, it's it's it's a very designerly process, even though people might not always see the design process within it.

Lee Moreau
Well, I mean, I think it turns out that recipes are developed in a studio practice or with a studio practice that sounds a lot similar to what we would do in the studio. Let's hear a little bit more from Julia.

Julia Collin Davison
So let's say we're developing a recipe for roast chicken. It gets assigned to a test cook and then they go on to a lib-our library, our cookbook library is vast, and they pull up recipes for roast chicken that they find in all the cookbooks and online, and they spread them all out. And they note the differences between the recipes from the ingredients, to the preparing method, so on. And then they pick five recipes that really span the range of options and they make them in a side-by-side, called a five recipe test, you usually get an extra pair of hands. And so then you put these five chickens up and the other test cooks and editors come and you analyze them, you taste them.

Lesley-Ann Noel
So when Julia was talking, I actually remember that I actually came to cooking through studio practice. Because if you talk to my friends in Trinidad, now I left Trinadad about six years ago, my friends in Trinidad will tell you that I don't cook, all right. My life was actually like a little bit too busy to be cooking, right, and food in Trinadad is very, very cheap. So I didn't really need to cook. But I really came to cooking because when I started my Ph.D., I did ceramics and that experience of mixing clay and mixing glazes and measuring things out. And it was that process that studio work that got me excited about this other type of studio work, which is in the kitchen, right, and really got me into that space of treating, yes, food like design and just trying things out and experimenting and doing things over. So I hadn't thought about that before, but yeah, Julia's comment just reminded me of that.

Julia Collin Davison
Before we published a recipe or put it on TV, we actually sent it out to thousands of people across the country who make the recipe for us on their own time, on their own dime. And they make the recipe and they answer a questionnaire for us. And the questionnaire will have questions like: Could you find the ingredients in your supermarket? Were there instructions that you didn't understand or could use a photo to help you understand? And then the big question is, would you make the recipe again? And so every recipe we publish has to get an 80 percent of everyone who makes it, yes, it would make this recipe again. And we have thousands of people testing each recipe across the country. So that is, you know, it's user experience.

Lee Moreau
Julia is sort of a human centered recipe designer, right? She's a human centered designer of recipes.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yes. It maybe it's it's less the human centeredness and more the-the other the studio part of design. It's that testing and iterating and feeling and, which is tied to the human centeredness, but I actually tie the human centeredness to the earlier part of the process. So when I talk about the human centeredness in the curries we are going to, the curries have to come back in— the human centeredness related to the curries is related to: What will your audience tolerate? You know, where are people's allergies? What will they eat? What are they-you know, and that's like a specific part of the problem trying to figure out, OK, how to make the right thing for the people that you're cooking for. And there is definitely the human centered part of it. But there's also the form factor, you know, are you going to make this thing that's really exciting and people want to eat and how you how do you plate it and stuff like that, what are the materials that are available? So like if you are coming from industrial design, you're very, very material centric. And food people definitely have to be material centric. If we think about it, there is space in the kitchen for every different type of designer. So if you want to be an Alessi type of designer who is so object centric, you can make a certain kind of food. If you are more human centered, you can make another kind of food. If you are definitely technology centered, you can be making high-tech stuff with Nitro, whatever-whatever, you know. So I think that that's an interesting thing about the kitchen is that it really does allow for every type of design practice.

Lee Moreau
I love that idea. Because I can see that the kind of personality can be manifest in the way that you appoint and use what it should be everyday processes and objects in totally different ways.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yeah, and that is the universality— oh, I use the way that I hate, the universe- the pluriversality of cooking and how we customize this thing that seems so universal. That's why I like to bring these cooking metaphors into the design studio and the design class, you know, because even if you think that this process was not made for you or people like you, you could start to say: Oh, but actually, I can customize this recipe to suit me, or I can make the recipe that works using the ingredients that I want to use for this design process. But that's what I'm leaning into, you know, that flexibility. You know, if you if you have a very diverse classroom, you have to think about how to make this process work for different people, especially people who might not have seen themselves represented in the curriculum at all. You know, so you have to figure out, you know, what's the kind of language to use to make people think: OK, actually, this can lead to me.

Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive is brought to you by the design team at Automattic, which is building a new web and a new workplace all around the world.

Joen Asmussen
My name is Joen Asmussen. I'm a product designer at Automattic. I live in Denmark, north of Copenhagen.

Lee Moreau
Joen joined Automattic over 10 years ago.

Joen Asmussen
Before my time at Automattic, I made WordPress websites. I chose WordPress because it was open source, and I helped get these small businesses online. I would often encounter small issues in WordPress that I wanted to fix. I could sort of paint over it by making plug-ins or fixing it right in the theme. But when I got the opportunity to work for Automattic directly, I saw the ability to fix these problems at the root, ultimately benefiting the whole ecosystem instead of just my client.

Lee Moreau
Designing a better web. Join us at Automattic dot com slash design. That's auto-m-a-double t-i-c dot com slash design.

Lee Moreau
Objective reasoning is a process of trying to make sense of the unfamiliar and the new and the things that you don't fully understand.

Jon Kolko
I find that abductive reasoning or abductive logic forms the basis of one part of design, which is the the coming up with the unexpected and the making sense of large amounts of data.

Lee Moreau
Jon Kolko is the chief operating officer and a partner at Modernist Studio, and the founder of Austin Center for Design. Jon wrote an essay that talks about abductive reasoning in the design process.

Jon Kolko
And so if you're able to quickly synthesize inconsistent, incomplete, ambiguous, amorphous data into a series of recommendations and then say them with the sense of charismatic leadership, you can get companies people to go in directions that you think are valuable.

Lee Moreau
And it's that process of kind of improvization and making sense of a situation that for me, feels a lot like cooking. It's that process of trying to make sense of these various ingredients and these foods and these flavors and these scents and how those might all come together. You know, you, you do this. This is your craft, right? And I know you did a you did a project with some students around creating a recipe from their work. Could you talk about that and how that might integrate with this notion of abductive reasoning?

Lesley-Ann Noel
So yeah, I'll describe the assignment. And then maybe we could chat a little bit more, right? So they have to read something they've been assigned or they have to read something about social impact or something like that. But then they have to synthesize this information and present it as a recipe. And literally, they have to then create a recipe card about whatever the content in that reading was, OK. So like they have to say, two teaspoons of an interest in social justice, plus one pound of community engagement, and then they have to synthesize something about the steps. And it's an assignment about creativity and manipulating information and making information accessible in different ways. I'm trying to see, OK, how do we get students to be excited about reading, really do deep reading, without having to produce necessarily a paper? And then how do we get them excited about what other people are reading? You know, so everybody's reading a different article and then by going through all of the recipes, you know, they can quickly gather a lot of information about what other people are reading.

Lee Moreau
What I love about it is it goes beyond merely interpreting the text, but it also makes it personal. Right? So as you convert it into a recipe, suddenly that's-you're expressing yourself through that.

Lesley-Ann Noel
I really have to go back and collect all of these recipes over time and put them together. But the class that I've-I've been teaching, the classes have changed. So the recipes are different. But you know, like maybe in five years time, I'll collect all of the recipes that students have done over-over time and and share them with other people.

Lee Moreau
That's the funny thing about teaching, right? The classes change, also. The world changes and what you teach five years ago. You look back at it and you're like— Wow, I didn't even know that topic was, I don't remember it being interesting, and suddenly it was the thing that everybody focused on. So you can, I think, could be really interesting to see the evolution of the recipes over time and what the most important concerns were for students along that journey.

Lesley-Ann Noel
So I've been talking about race in design for a little while, right, and critical conversations and critical consciousness and all that. And so, I mean, this is this is the best example of what you just said. But as I think about that change between 2019 and 2020, in 2018, there was a class that I taught where I just saw that students weren't digging deep enough on how a design product changes, according to who the user is. And so that's when I first brought these questions about race and gender and stuff like that into the classroom. And fast forward a couple of years and everybody wants to talk about race now. And I'm like, Well, not just race, but, you know, critical issues on social justice. And I'm like, OK, but y'all weren't so interested five years ago. But yeah, the industry has evolved. You know, like, we have to be talking about this stuff in design.

Lee Moreau
With issues of race and social justice and things like that, there was always a sense that they were important in terms of the outcomes, but not so much what goes in. And I think that's one thing that I've seen recently, which is like we're very focused on the inputs of design being factored into these issues and we cannot separate them, which is a, I think, moving in the right direction for sure.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yes, definitely.

Lee Moreau
So let's hear a little bit more from Jon, continuing the conversation:

Jon Kolko
I mean, it's all about like, what did I, Jon, see in this data? It's not what did the data say? If all we do is say like that person said this or we should go do that— that's not how innovation works. It's not how design work.

Lesley-Ann Noel
I really love how he said that because, you know, like we are trained in school to think about objectivity and think that, OK, the objective data said, blah blah blah blah. And well, you know, Jon Kolko, of course, is a real industry leader. And so it's it's good for him to say that clearly, we're not trying to be objective. You know, we are trying to say that this is how we interpreted the data. That is something that I have shifted in my design practice that I got from my Ph.D. research know where I learned more about, OK, how other qualitative researchers work and how they delineate the personality, and they're not trying to present themselves as objective. And so that was like my lightbulb moment about design practice, because no, we are not actually objective. We are taking data and even how we collect data is subjective, or is tied to our positionality, right. So we are creating methods to collect data. We are interpreting this data subjectively, and then we are subjectively presenting some responses to this data. We're trying to make the design process much more scientific or, you know, kind of research-erly and then saying: Well, OK, this solution that we've created doesn't include our subjectivity, which isn't true.

Lee Moreau
And there's a risk in turning design process into like mathematics. If we do that, we're going to go down a path of making some very bad things for the world. We have to accept that there's some uncertainty in all of this and that's embedded in the process.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yeah, yeah.

Lee Moreau
As you were talking about, you know, subjectivity, I can't help but think that, you know, the way that we listen is so subjective. On top of all the other processes and things that we build in order to conduct our research and do the design work.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yeah. So I have an interesting anecdote about that. So when I when I started to create those tools to get students to talk more about race and think about multiple perspectives and all of that right, the way I heard what the students presented made me create those tools. But now, like three years later, I can see a little bit more clearly that I heard what they presented in a certain way, which may not actually be what they presented. You know, like like the night after one student presentation, I went home and I said, but these students only interviewed white men. Right? You know, I've talked about that, I think with you before.

Lee Moreau
Yeah.

Lesley-Ann Noel
But actually who they interviewed was a little bit more diverse then I actually picked up at the time. But I I read the data in a certain way. I heard the information in a certain way, you know. And if we recognize that people will hear things in different ways, that's actually OK as well because we do need people who will be hyper tuned to certain-certain information. You know, so like, OK, yes, I will hear conversations about race differently because that's the lens that I'm well, that I look through. And I guess my hearing aid is tuned to hear things in that way and someone else is going to hear the gender questions in a particular way. Someone else is going to hear the disability and different types of disability questions that are in a certain way. And, you know, answers like, we need the people who have all the skills in these particular kinds of subjective hearing to then come back and feed information back to us and say: Well, OK, now that we looked at all of these different perspectives, maybe this is, I don't know the position that we take forward. Oh, we're going down a rabbit hole here.

Lee Moreau
Oh no, I love it. This is this is exactly where we want to go because we're trying to kind of conflate the relationship between the way that we work in the studio or our design practice works and the way that we think about other experiences in our life, partly so that we can educate people on design. This is a podcast about human centered design. And so the analogies, the metaphors of connecting us to the kitchen and to recipes and to experiences that we have every day. I, I hope, will be powerful. And maybe Julia says it best. Let's listen to her one more time.

Julia Collin Davison
We have 40 to 50 test cooks. These test cooks have cooked for many years before they came the test kitchen, so everyone's coming with a really varied and vast, comprehensive experience so that even if. Someone's making butter chicken, which is a lovely Indian dish, and I don't have a lot of experience butter chicken, no doubt there are four or five people who have a lot of experience with that. So, you know, it's a combination of your experience and again, the collective palate.

Lee Moreau
I mean, that's just kind of beautiful. That's the design process, right?

Lesley-Ann Noel
I love that. Yes, I really love that. And again, if we come back to this whole metaphor of cooking and design, the thing is that people— you know like Julia says, people come in with all of their rich experiences and they bring it into the process, right. And I think that that's what you want. And, and there are places within the design world and the design process where people are talking in a gate-keeping way and they're creating barriers. And so, you know, it's like, how do we not use the gatekeeping language? You know, how do we make it so that everyone can can be part of the process? Maybe we don't talk about design. There's a children's game, I think, where you can't use a certain word, you know, you know what I'm talking about, right— like, you-you, this word is prohibited and you can continue whatever to the entire day and whoever says that word is out. I think that that could be an interesting kind of design exercise for us where we have a day in design class where you cannot use the word design at all. But you know, it will make us see the process differently, make us talk about the process differently and use language that other people can access.

Lee Moreau
In my- in my class you talked about who's in the design process and what you bring to the table, and you showed us your positionality wheel. You know, we all have our— the way you explained it: we all have a positionality that we're bringing to the table. You talked about like how you were evaluating that student project that was you thought it was just they only interviewed white men. And it turns out, maybe not. Right. And so some of your bias was embedded in that. I certainly bring my biases to the classroom, and I've really been thinking about that a lot since-since you spoke and presented. To what degree—Like, how far do we need to change? How much work do we need to do? I mean, I think a lot of us are starting to feel like, Oh, well, yes, we need to change, but maybe, maybe it's not going to fundamentally shift the way that we conduct the work, but I suspect that you have a different way of feeling about this.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Well, I- so like in my teaching, it's not actually written as a limiting outcome or an objective or anything like that, but because I'm now operating then through this lens of this pluriverse, right, one of my objectives in every class that I teach is to just make people a tiny bit more aware of another world and another way of doing things and another, you know— and so it's like, I'm actually not trying to make the biggest change in the world, I'm just trying to encourage or provoke a tiny consciousness shift among students. And then they can take that consciousness shift and do other things. Because we really occupy a lot of us, occupy one space and one world and don't connect with people from other other environments. I mean, you know, how do we change the design process? I'm not trying to change the entire design process. I think if at least you have that tiny awareness of, Oh, things are done in different ways, then maybe I've-maybe I've done what I need to do, you know.

Lee Moreau
I think what I'm learning from you is that maybe the point here is not to fix the process, but to accept other processes or other worlds. And in doing that, everything shifts.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yes. Well, and I don't even know if to say that that's the point. That's a tiny shift that I'm trying to create, right? Because I can't change the entire world of design. You know, I can't change the entire design process, but at least if we start, we sort of have that little bit of hunger, another food thing there, right, we have a little bit of that hunger for knowledge about the other ways that people do things, then that in itself starts to shift the process. One tiny shift is just being aware that there isn't the process. There are many processes, and maybe our one process is not the only process that works in solve-solving whatever we want to do, solving in quotes because I know this is a podcast. But yeah.

Lee Moreau
Well, so the-the and this podcast is called The Futures Archive, right? So we're focused on the future. You said like: well, I'm not trying to change everything, but just in saying that there is a slight ambition that you are trying to make pretty substantial change. So is there a future until we actually start to question everything which would suggest a different relationship to the words that we use as we're doing inquiry, right? Like a different definition or relationship to the words who, what, when and why and how like do we have to question all of that? That's part of this, right? Because that's how I'm seeing my students reacting to the work that we're talking about in the classroom. The conversation is shifting in that direction.

Lesley-Ann Noel
Yes, we have to question everything. And that will be an existential crisis for a long time. But yes, it's OK for us to ask these questions, you know, and that's how we change practices by analyzing and saying, well OK, this is what was done before. Is this still the thing that we want to do? You know, asking these hard questions because some of the bad stuff— bad in air quotes again— that that just keeps coming, you know, it's just handed down over and over and over is because nobody's asking questions like: OK, why do we have to? You know, so I really enjoy this space that we're in of asking all of these questions and maybe kind of burning down monuments and things like that. And what is left might not be design. You know, that's something that we just have to kind of keep in mind that, you know, there might be a completely different practice that's going to evolve out of all of this questioning.

Lee Moreau
Every episode of The Futures Archive will end with a prompt, a sort of design exercise for you, the listener, to keep working on the object and the ideas that we talked about in this week's show. You'll be able to share your ideas and see what other listeners are thinking about, too. And I'll explain where to do that in just a bit. What we would like you to do this week is to look for patterns in your everyday life and consider the influences that helped to establish them. Think of the abductive reasoning that we talked about in this week's show. How do you see your world and how can you use abductive reasoning to see your world in a new way? Do these patterns form organically from growth and repetition, or were they imposed through organizations policies or by force? And what do you bring to the conversation? Document and analyze one or more of the patterns that you see, and don't be afraid to look at multiple scales or multiple domains. The more you look, the more you'll find. Please post your research on Instagram and make sure to tag us with a hashtag The Futures Archive, that's all one word. You can read the full prompt on our Instagram at Design Observer.

Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive is a podcast from Design Observer. To keep up with the show. Go to TFA dot Design Observer dot com or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you liked what you heard today, please make sure to rate and review us and share this with your friends. Lesley-Ann thank you for such a wonderful conversation. It was so good to see you again. For our listeners who want to know more about you or find you on social media, where can they go?

Lesley-Ann Noel
You can find me in a lot of places, but actually the best places to connect with me are Twitter, Instagram, and actually LinkedIn.

Lee Moreau
Wonderful. We'll find you there. Thank you so much.

Lee Moreau
Please post your answers for this week's assignment on Instagram using the hashtag The Futures Archive, that's one word. We're really excited to see what you come up with and make sure you're following us at Design Observer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The Futures Archive's education partner is Adobe. For each episode, you can find supporting materials, including further reading, lesson plans and all kinds of activities suitable for college level learners. For more about Adobe's educational initiatives, follow them at EDEX dot adobe dot com. And The Futures Archive is brought to you by Automattic. Thanks again to Xinyi Liu, Julia Collin Davison, and Jon Koko for talking to The Futures Archive. You can find more about them, and my co-host Lesley-Ann Noel in our show notes at TFA dot Design Observer dot com, as well as a full transcription of our show. Our associate producer is Adina Karp. Owen Agnew edits the show. Blake Eskin of Noun and Verb Rodeo help to develop the show. Thanks, as always to Design Observer founder Jessica Helfand and to Design Observer executive producer Betsy Vardell.


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