Design Thinking Methodologies


I am an autistic/ADHD woman in the built environment/architectural profession. I have found the way in which we communicate with clients is not really catered towards our clients, but rather our architectural profession, impacting the information we receive from our clients.

How can we make design thinking and the methodologies we use more accessible for our clients?


  • Christine Hemphill
    Christine Hemphill Member (Full) Posts: 11

    Love this Rachel. Practical, accessible and adaptive delivery to clients is critical to communicate when designing across internal/external teams.

    What do you think may make the thinking, doing, and communicating for delivery of design in the architectural space easier for your clients? Or more simply - what do you see as the biggest gaps?

    Thanks for raising this!

  • Tom Llewellyn
    Tom Llewellyn Member (Full) Posts: 1

    @Rachel Updegrove I'm in a similar boat as a workshop facilitator. I specialise in using LEGO Serious Play as I find it incredibly beneficial when working with Neurodivergent brains like mine - but what happens when someone can't use LEGO bricks?

    When I'm designing a workshop, I find it helpful to create a "emotional journey map". It's a bodged version of a customer journey map where I'm focused on how I want my clients to feel over the course of the day, which then guides the activities I run. Long story short, it helps me focus on the needs of the participants, rather than sticking rigidly to whatever methodologies I'm using.

    I hope that might be a useful starter for 10, I agree with @Christine Hemphill, it'd be really interesting to hear where you think the opportunities to meet/exceed your client's needs are :)

  • Cathy Rundle
    Cathy Rundle Full Member (*) Posts: 2

    I think this is a really interesting discussion. In some ways it's similar to getting user needs for a product. Sometimes people will really be asking "how well does this feature work for you" or "what do you want from this feature" rather than taking a step back and finding out if the feature is wanted at all and how it will benefit the end user.

    I find it useful to ask myself what and why questions when developing a discussion guide. "Why am I asking this question?" "What do I want to know?" "How will it meet the objective of the research?" Then I look at how I can ask the questions to make it easy for the person to answer - and how I can dig down in a nice way and ask the person for their reasons until I get to the actual answer.

    I realise this is a different scenario to your question but it might be useful to ask some of the what, why and how questions to yourself. "What am I presenting to the client, what do I want them to know and what do I want to know back from the client?" at each point. That might help drive the discussion in a different way.

    My approach feels quite similar to how Tom prepares his workshops and I'd be interested to know what approach you take at the moment and what you think might help.