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Pivot Etc.

24 Things We’ve Learned About Design (Over 24 Years): Part 4

August 30, 2022 3 minute read

Pivot Design Group is celebrating 24 years in business as a design studio in Toronto this month. To mark the occasion, we’re sharing 24 things we’ve learned along the way working in design and running a thriving design studio. In this fourth weekly post, we list the last six insights on our list:

  1. Circular Design – in this time of increasing climate volatility, principles of circular thinking has never been more important. They remind designers of our growing need to mitigate the threats and risks to people and our natural environment. While design has contributed to climate change, it can also play a vital role in helping to reverse its effects on our ecosystem by promoting behavioural change and sustainable choices.
  2. Informing Design – embrace different perspectives that will “inform” your design – why you are doing it, what it will be and who you are doing it for.
  3. Know your parameters – be sure you understand all the requirements of the task at hand early in the design phase so that you can manage the scope of the project as well as the expectations of clients.
  4. Empathy – starts with being a good listener. Understanding and sharing in somebody else’s feelings and experiences is central to our work as designers and is the foundation of our practice.
  5. Enshrine DEI in your workplace – embracing DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusiveness) is a critical next step for improving your practice and enhancing design outcomes. We have systemic challenges ahead of us that must be tackled now if we are to make the design industry more inclusive and welcoming for the next generation of designers.
  6. The future should be friendly – involve people early in your design process and work on building empathy with people and problems. Apply inclusive design, circular design and service design as strategies and methods of choice to design rewarding experiences.


Ian Chalmers, RGD
Principal & Creative Director

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