Cultivating a Designer’s Mind


This article was posted in its entirety on by Jennifer English Morgan.

“Incorporating the cultivation of our ‘“Designer’s Mind” into our design practice allows us to harnesses the power of engaging clearly in an interconnected way as we use design models and processes. I’m definitely not just talking about the brain. I’m thinking holistically. Without whole-systems introspection and integration, and an awareness of the state(s) of mind, our designs will be continually restricted and fragmented by day-to-day distractions, attachments, objectification, unconscious conditioning, limiting beliefs and unresolved traumas (personal and collective). Considering that list, we’re doing fair to decent; Still, there are so many shitty designs paved with good intentions. I think the field of design needs a reboot.

Design means being intentional and present with your process. Staying present and having a realistic appraisal of the current moment creates authentic connectivity. The groundedness in and acceptance of what is, exactly and intrinsically, is the foundation for any change. In that sense, the first position and ongoing practice of a designer is to be present, centered and connected before, during and after taking action. Routine reflection and observation keep us linked to the present moment and train us to realize emerging opportunities and constraints. These reflection points also help us keep tabs on who and what is driving the design.

After 24-years of serving as a professional designer, I stand firmly by the notion that we can not navigate or effectively apply design models without skilling up in intra/interpersonal tools and practices. I’ve committed the last 15-years of my career to training hundreds of designers, mentors, facilitators, healers, and leaders, to navigate the present-day chaos and eco-social challenges, by responding in a regenerative and integrative way.”

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