I took a detour from journalism in 2015 and switched to design research. After projects in Japan and Zimbabwe for Jan Chipchase’s Studio D, I worked for STBY, a service design research agency in Amsterdam for two years, where I worked in a small team to deliver qualitative research projects such as climate challenges around adaptation and the future of energy in cities (for What Design Can Do), perceptions and behaviours around sustainable food for the Dutch government, bicycle parking and space for pedestrians for the Amsterdam City government.
Through this work, I learned about design thinking, project management, user experience, as well as the ecosystem in which apps and services are created. I learned to recruit participants, conduct ethnographic interviews (in English, Dutch and Japanese) and incorporated design techniques such as iteration, divergence + convergence, and visualisation of insights. I also led strategy workshops for corporations on design thinking and future-casting.