10 episodes

Design is all around us, but how designers think through their work is often a mystery. Understanding that process can fuel our own curiosity and creativity. Adam Fromme hosts Thinking through Design as a series of in-depth discussions to reveal the designer's mindset and realize its value.



Department of Design. The Ohio State University.

Thinking Through Design Adam Fromme

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Design is all around us, but how designers think through their work is often a mystery. Understanding that process can fuel our own curiosity and creativity. Adam Fromme hosts Thinking through Design as a series of in-depth discussions to reveal the designer's mindset and realize its value.



Department of Design. The Ohio State University.

    11. Passion, participation and representation, Pt. 2

    11. Passion, participation and representation, Pt. 2

    Jacinda Walker, Omari Souza and John Brown VI sit down with host Adam Fromme in this episode of Thinking through Design. Their conversation shares the impact of design on marginalized communities, highlighting how design can unintentionally cause harm. They emphasize the importance of considering the “in group” as well as the inevitable and often invisible “out group” in every design project. And their conversation touches on the limitations of traditional design education and the need for involving the actual users, especially underrepresented groups, in the design process. They advocate for shifting from rule-based to value-based design decision making process to create more inclusive and equitable outcomes. The inclusion of youth voices in designing public spaces like parks is also discussed, emphasizing that young people have valuable insights that should be considered. The guests are contributing authors to An Anthology of Blackness, The State of Black Design, edited by Terresa Moses and Omari Souza. This episode is the second in a two-part conversation to expand on the motivations, ideas and reflections within this publication. Dr. Jacinda N. Walker, founder of designExplorr, is a prominent figure in the fields of design, diversity, research, and strategy, notably through her influential thesis on increasing diversity in design disciplines. She aims to expand diversity initiatives for underrepresented youth in corporations, educational institutions, and museums. Omari Souza, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas, is the organizer of the State of Black Design Conference. A first-generation American of Jamaican descent, he has worked with notable organizations and holds degrees in Digital Media and Design; his research focuses on how visual narratives shape cultural perceptions. John Brown VI is experienced in leading design research, user testing, and creating prototypes, presenting findings to stakeholders. He is passionate about using design and research to develop human-centered strategies that transform user experiences.

    10. Passion, participation and representation, Pt. 1

    10. Passion, participation and representation, Pt. 1

    Anne Berry and S. Alfonso Williams sit down with host Adam Fromme in this episode of Thinking through Design. Their conversation explores the evolving landscape of design education and address the motivations for integrating social and cultural awareness into curricula, recognizing the diverse backgrounds of students, and including societal issues with design. They underscore the balance required to structured and open-ended assignments and the importance of making students feel seen and valued in the classroom. The conversation concludes with a focus on the broader implications of their teaching philosophies and ends by discussing practical steps for educators to nurture diverse voices and foster an inclusive, empathetic learning environment. Both guests are contributing authors to An Anthology of Blackness, The State of Black Design, edited by Terresa Moses and Omari Souza. This episode is the first in a two-part conversation to expand the motivations, ideas and reflections within this publication. Anne H. Berry is a writer, designer, and Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Cleveland State University. Her research examines race and representation in design, focusing on ethnic and racial disparities in the graphic design field. Berry's work has been highlighted in Communication Arts magazine, Letterform Archive, and Kelly Walters' book Black, Brown + Latinx Design Educators: Conversations on Design and Race. Her publications include "The Virtual Design Classroom" for Communication Arts magazine, "The Black Designer's Identity and she is the managing editor of The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression, and Reflection, a book recognized by Fast Company and the Non-Obvious Book Awards in 2022. S. Alfonso Williams is a driven pre-med Biology and Psychology major, with interests in the philosophy of science and medicine, physiology, and systems science. Alfonso holds multiple fellowships and leadership roles: member of the Student National Medical Association Inc., fellow of the National Institute for African American Health Scholars, Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Scholars Academy, Cuyahoga Community College Honors Program, Black American Council Metro Campus, and Advanced Leadership Institute.

    • 42 min
    9. Can technology drive collaborative design?

    9. Can technology drive collaborative design?

    Tomás Dorta sits down with host Adam Fromme in this episode of Thinking through Design. Their conversation dives into the collaborative essence of design, emphasizing empathy, active participation, and shared ownership. They explore the evolution of ideas through dialogue and negotiation, advocating for inclusive approaches and collective authorship. They discuss how technology can prompt awareness of nuances, like the rhythm of a conversation, to foster collaboration. This underscores design's transformative potential in addressing complex societal challenges and fostering understanding. Ultimately, it serves as a poignant reminder of the power of collaboration in shaping a shared world through design.



    Tomás Dorta is a leading figure known for his pioneering research in integrating new technologies into the design process. With a background in architecture and design, he earned his Ph.D. in 2001, focusing on virtual reality's role in design visualization. His research, funded by Canadian federal and provincial grants, is widely published and presented internationally. As an educator, he is a Full Professor at Université de Montréal's School of Design, teaching courses on design research, co-design, and industrial design. He's also an Affiliate Professor at Pennsylvania State University. Tomás has served on editorial boards for top journals and founded the Design Research Laboratory Hybridlab in 2008. In 2016, he co-founded the startup Systèmes Hybridlab, where he serves as president, focusing on innovative design technologies.

    • 59 min
    8. A call for contamination

    8. A call for contamination

    Fabio Di Liberto sits down with host Adam Fromme in this episode of Thinking through Design. Their conversation settled at the intersection of empathy in design and the importance of intentional play in the workplace. At its core lies the concept of contamination theory, advocating for the intentional exposure to diverse experiences and interests as a catalyst for creativity. Fabio underscores the importance of discomfort, curiosity and the role of surprise in this process, challenging conventional thinking and fostering innovation. Overall, they offer a holistic exploration of design as a transformative approach that integrates curiosity and creativity with a deep understanding of human experiences. Their conversation ends with a call to reconsider the way we approach design, emphasizing its potential to create positive change and foster a more empathetic and sustainable future. Fabio is a visionary designer with a background in architecture and a passion for photography, travel, and philosophy. He combines creativity with purpose, infusing his work with a unique perspective. As the Brand Innovation Officer and founder of Habitus®, a sustainable brand innovation consultancy, he drives meaningful change. Previously, as Brand Director at ISKO™, he focused on global strategies centered around people. With over two decades of experience in brand, product, and service innovation, his mission is to create unforgettable experiences. Fabio is a Fulbright Scholar with a master’s degree in industrial design from Pratt Institute and a degree in Architecture from the University of Palermo.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    7. Mastering the design brief

    7. Mastering the design brief

    Sébastien Proulx sits down with host Adam Fromme in this episode of Thinking through Design. Their conversation discussed the intricate dynamics of the design process, underscoring the need for designers to confidently tackle challenges, foster creativity and uphold professionalism in the design industry. The design brief was offered as an essential tool for guiding design projects, maintaining focus, and ensuring alignment with client expectations. As the essential qualities of the design brief were detailed, central themes of clear communication, goal delineation and client collaborative surfaced. Overall, the discussion provided valuable insights for practitioners aiming to address needs effectively. Sébastien is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design at Ohio State University, where he coordinates the Industrial Design major and co-directs the DESIS Lab. He holds a PhD and Master of Applied Science in Design from the University of Montreal. Before joining Ohio State, he taught at the University of Montreal for 12 years, focusing on social service design and visual communication for industrial design students. Dr. Proulx's research explores the role of designers in shaping public services and policies, drawing on moral sociology and care ethics. His work aims to expand design's impact in public service development and equip designers with the skills to navigate complex social and political landscapes.

    • 58 min
    6. Designing for yourself

    6. Designing for yourself

    Yvette Shen sits down with host Adam Fromme in this episode of Thinking through Design. Their conversation digs into the intricacies of self-reflection, data visualization and creative expression through the lens of design education. They discuss the role of biases in design, the significance of data interpretation and the challenges of balancing personal expression with objective analysis. As they speculate on the future, they highlight the need for self-awareness and critical thinking to serve as pillars of innovation and impact. Yvette is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design at Ohio State University. Born in Shanghai and educated in both China and the US, she is an interdisciplinary designer with a focus on human-centered solutions. With experience working for clients like Lenox Hill and HGTV, she emphasizes collaboration and problem-solving in her work. Her research centers on two main areas: improving data comprehension and fostering collaboration through design and leveraging design to promote positive emotions and behaviors for well-being.

    • 49 min

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