Posts Tagged 'Human-Centered Design'

Oscillating History: The Design of Jewish History

In VaEra, this week’s Torah portion, we read about God’s plan to have Moshe liberate the Israelite slaves from Egypt. This theme is echoed in the the haftorah in Ezekiel (28:25-29:21). It begins with a mention of the ingathering of the exiles. There we read:

When I gather in the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they have been scattered, and I have been sanctified through them in the eyes of the nations, then shall they dwell on their land that I gave to My servant, to Yaakov. And they shall dwell upon it securely…

Ezekiel 28:25-26

This seems to be a recitation of the story of Yosef rejoining his brothers as we saw at the end of Genesis. In this context we an interesting pattern of Jewish history emerges. We seem to be going back and forth between dispersal, isolation, and sufferings and ingathering and feeling at home. While this might come to explain the elation around the realization of this prophetic vision in the founding of the State of Israel, it is not what is interesting to me at this moment.

When looking at this pattern from a distance we can see a similar outline of human-centered design. This is an approach to problem-solving commonly used in design and management frameworks that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Human involvement typically takes place in observing the problem within context, brainstorming, conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the solution.

An Introduction to Human-centered Design (HCD) Process

Just as Jewish history oscillates between our diaspora and homecoming, this design process asks us to move back and forth between divergent and convergent thinking. Together we experience the highest of highs because we are in touch with the user-experience of real pain points.

I was think about this as many of us have had to move back into 2020 Covid isolation. This could be seen as sad or needed Wintering that will eventually yield to the creative boons in spring. Maybe this is just my being hopeful or a belief in the Human-centered creative process.


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