Is Planet Centric Design The Next Thing?

Hi, Kevin here.

Recently, I had a lovely conversation with Daniele Catalanotto  about what might come after human-centered design. Here a few notes of our conversation.

This conversation is part of a series of Podcasts for Design & Critical Thinking with Daniele (hold in French). Daniele is a Service Designer in Switzerland and is the founder of the Swiss Innovation Academy and the Service Design Magazine.

For those of you who don't speak French –or just don't want to listen to us thinking out loud– here's the summary of this conversation in English. Also, find below a video version, available on YouTube with automatic-translation subtitles.

This Is Not Because Something Is Desirable That It Makes Sense.

The issue with Human Centered Design (HCD) that many see is that by creating something that is viable for the business, desirable for the humans it serves and feasible technically, you still can create services and products that mess up the world. Desirable for humans doesn't mean it brings our society further.

A Natural Evolution vs. A Real Break.

Some are, therefore, proposing to have a Planet Centric Approach to replace the Human Centric Design approach. This would look like as a logical evolution: we came from an engineering or business-centric perspective first. In reaction came then a human-centric perspective. And now in reaction comes a planet centric perspective. Basically, it's another zoom out.

But what if instead of zooming out in centricity terms, we would take a completely different approach instead, as systems designers do?

A Rebranded Systemic Design?

We are asking ourselves: how is a Planet Centric Design different from a Systemic Design approach that looks at the whole ecosystem of a problem?

Perhaps, it's just a rebranding that might scare less designers. Systemic Design sounds academic and complex, whereas planet centric design perhaps sounds easier to grasp?

Explore And Be Critical!

If you are interested in the topic of Planet Centric Design, Daniele compiled a list of links and resources that might help you explore this topic by yourself and build your own opinion about it.