XPLANE is a business design consultancy. The definition of what we do is a result of the evolution in the definition of the word, â€‹“design.” We help large organizations clarify, communicate, and achieve their goals by leveraging visual thinking, human-centered design, co-creation, and multi-disciplinary teams to help clients solve complex problems and accelerate results.
For Design Week Portland, our goal was to showcase how the skills and behaviors we rely on for client work make up the landscape called, “design consulting.” By visualizing our process, outlining the behaviors (and super powers) of our project teams, and describing how each of these behaviors are used in designing solutions for our clients, our hope was that attendees would walk away with an understanding of what design consulting is, how XPLANE approaches it, and how behaviors, rather than job titles, contribute to overall success.
We first asked attendees to draw their super power and post it up on the wall and the responses were brilliant. Over the course of the evening we were visited by Human Synthesizer, Super Ears, and 12 Feet in Mouth Guy. It was inspiring to see people self-identify and visualize behaviors and skills that highlighted their strengths.
To illustrate how, “design” has expanded far beyond its historical purview, we then asked participants to choose the skills and behaviors they wish they could express more in their own careers, but don’t often get the chance to. Attendees placed stickers along the continuum of behaviors to show where they would like to play. We found that a lot Project Managers wished they could use more visual communication, for example! The resulting artifact was a color-coded mosaic that illustrates the difference between a design consultancy approach to projects versus a project defined and delineated by job titles that live on business cards or in email signatures.
Thank you to everyone who came, participated, and conquered. You made the night a ton of fun!