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The Femme Den From Smart Design Innovates For Gender.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on October 22, 2008

I ran into the women of Smart Design’s Femme Den at the IDSA annual awards contest in Phoenix and was blown away by their insights. As women increasingly play what were traditionally “men’s” roles in society, they find themselves having to fit themselves into spaces not designed for them. This is true for services and experiences as well as products (cars are a great example of products, finance for services).

The Femme Den cohort focusses on designing for women, which, especially when it comes to technology, usually means making stuff easier for everyone to use.

I’ve noticed that innovation and design consultancies like Smart are publishing their own information more and more. Ziba has a magazine out that is really good.

It’s all about education and learning—much of which is not taking place inside formal institutions: schools. Continuum has very, very interesting work going on.

And IDEO is amassing case studies on design thinking that us hugely important.

Reader Comments

Finn McKenty

October 22, 2008 8:50 PM

You might also check out Kaleidoscope's project The Greener Grass at

ravi sawhney

October 23, 2008 5:19 PM


I couldn't agree more that teaching - and measurement - are the way forward for the industry.

With a 40:1 ratio of business professionals to designers, educating and stimulating executive stakeholders becomes critical to illuminating design's value to business.

As you mention, we're also finding our case study program to be extremely popular with clients.

The new Catalyst program that we developed with Frank Tyneski at IDSA, soon be on line, is dedicated to this philosophy.

We are now beginning to build the top tier panel of design, business and other influential professionals for Catalyst.

We're seeking those whose profile can help us elevate this program to the level of Harvard Business School Case Study for our industry.

I look forward to connecting with you as this program evolves.

Best Regards,

Ravi Sawhney

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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