My name is Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer and I am a researcher, designer and educator in transdisciplinarity and human-centred & systemic design. I believe that we need to develop a better understanding of the creative and collaborative practices that are required to address today’s complex societal challenges – also called social innovation practices. In my role as Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology, I therefore study these practices, contribute to the development of methods and practices, and share this knowledge through my publications, website and education. As owner of Meerkat Consultancy I also provide training and advice about various social innovation methods and practices to public and private organisations. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to know more and/or would like to collaborate.

How deep is deep?

Ever since the publication of Henry Dreyfuss’ book ‘Designing for People’ (1955) there has been general agreement in the design field that gaining insights into what people need, supports designing products that meet those needs. The idea of design driven by these types of insights is one of the main elements of ‘design thinking’ that has been adopted in sectors outside the traditional design domain, particularly in the private sector. Roger Martin (2009) for example wrote in his book ‘The design of business: why design thinking is the next competitive advantage’ that deep, user-centred understanding is an essential tool of the design thinker, and many others have argued that deep user or customer insights contribute to radical innovation. Read More