Michael Smith Mechanical Engineer + Design Strategist

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The core of design can be described as solving problems and responding to the needs of people. The appropriate responses to these opportunities may result in physical products, or in services, organizations, interventions, facilitations, and dialogue. Understanding the needs of users through human-centered design research is the key to generating effective outcomes, regardless of what forms they take.

My role as a designer is to work alongside clients to discover the needs and opportunities that stakeholders may inherently know or feel, but may not be consciously aware of. I synthesize this data by mapping out observations and identifying patterns, and present these discoveries in visual and participatory ways that spark thought and dialogue. In this way, we work together to uncover the opportunities in which design can respond to the needs of the clients or users.

Armed with the knowledge and understanding acquired through active research, I then use various design methods to develop approaches that address the issues in ways that many people may not typically imagine. By further refining these concepts through prototyping and iteration, outcomes are generated in various forms, including strategic goals, actionable ideas, and comprehensive plans.