Designers’ work of systematically reintroducing humans into structures ostensibly designed to benefit them.

A single highlighted figure walks alone through a field of cars at night
A single highlighted figure walks alone through a field of cars at night

If you live in a city where people get around in cars, you might be familiar with a peculiar feeling that happens in a parking lot. Alert. Aware. On-edge. If you’re from the Midwest, like I am, you might even feel like you’re in the way. Why? Because you’re a human walking in a space designed to accommodate the movement of 2,000 pounds wheeled metal vehicles. Ironically enough, just moments before you experienced this feeling, you were likely piloting one of those vehicles. …


An illustration of seated figures around a table in blue, with one silhouette of a missing participant outlined in yellow
An illustration of seated figures around a table in blue, with one silhouette of a missing participant outlined in yellow

Anyone reading this article on a phone while waiting for their groceries to be delivered by an Amazon truck before hopping on a telemedicine call with their doctor can agree that the world has changed in the past 35 years. And yet, many of our oldest institutions and structures have not. Corporations still have Boards of Directors; Universities still have Regents; and the composition of the Cabinet, the President’s body of trusted advisors, has increased by only two recently: the addition of a Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 1989 and the Department of Homeland Security in 2001. If the experience…


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last year, I sent the email below to a group of friends and colleagues. I wanted to share what I was reading, and encourage them to focus on the learnable skill of adaptability over intelligence or good planning, like so many excellent business people do.

Looking back, I’m struck by how much the email foretold what would be required of us all in 2020 — and what we still need to learn as we face this next stage of the pandemic, along with the economic and social disruption it has…


Or, when a plane ticket is really worth it.

Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to say which of our hard-won pandemic adaptations will stay for the long-term. Yet with so many industries facing a low-cost environment, it’s fair to say that virtual meetings of some sort will remain for some time after it is safe to be in person. During COVID-19 remote work, my Design Strategy team converted our entire physical workshop practice into a digital strength. It wasn’t easy, but I now believe it is possible to create design thinking workshops — meetings crafted to pull ideas and…

Erica Nevas

Curious, empathetic, determined. Uniter of disciplines and cross-functional dot connector. I’ve been a designer all my life, but I didn’t realize it until 2015.

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