Socially responsible, psychologically healthy, highly creative design workplaces

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I was recently asked (through a Facebook message) if I know any workplaces or firms that offer a complex, critical and creative design philosophy, as well as a great working environment, anywhere in the world. Would I recommend IDEO? Or, are there any more socially responsible firms to look at?

I had to say that the question is a good one but not so easy to answer.

I think social responsibility is one area, psychologically healthy working environment is another, and creative process is another, and few firms manage to accomplish all of those well.

For new issues in social responsibility one book I like is Thackara's "In the Bubble." As well, the people at World Changing are on the right track. I learned (through LinkedIn) that my formeer Institute without Boundaries student, the highly talented Jennifer Leonard, is now an editor there, which is fabulous news.

For creative environment, one person I would ask, as she interviewed myself as well as numerous top notch design firms on the subject of creative process for her PhD, is Silje Alberthe Kamille Friis.
check this:

http://www.nextd.org/04/contents.htm
Conscious Design Study

Kamille Friis, a PhD student at Learning Lab in Denmark, studied Humantific, NextD, IDEO, Bruce Mau Design and eTypes as part of her thesis focused on “Conscious Design Practice as a Strategic Tool.” Kamille spent a week in our Humantific New York office and attended a NextD WorkshopONE summer session.

“The purpose of the industrial PhD Conscious Design Practice as a Strategic Tool is to create new in-depth understanding of how strategic design consultancies carry out design work, in particular the design methods and processes. It is a journey into new territory. The concept of strategic design is a recent development within the field of design, focusing on the strategic thinking important to identify opportunities for innovation and growth.”

To inquire about buying a copy of this just published PhD thesis, email: Katrine (at) e-types (dot) com