by Jason “TOGA” Trew


Enthusiast 🟢

[READ – 4 Mins] Stories help ground the theoretical elements of design. This piece from a senior leader flips the conventional story of designers as righteous insurgents trying to navigate and nudge a reluctant chain of command:


[READ – 7 Mins] What if Design Thinking isn’t ultimately about designing? This is the first of a two-part series:


[WATCH] Rapid, low-resolution prototyping is a standard technique in the designer thinker’s toolkit. Both of these clips are entertaining ways to introduce the topic of rapid iteration, survivable failures, and empathizing with users:

“The Founder” (4 Mins):

“The Office” (2 Mins):


Engaged Learner 🟦

[READ – 4 Mins] Dr. Gordon Bennett uses clear language and visual imagery to answer one of the first questions military members often ask when exposed to design: how is this different from operational doctrine? Yes, “design” is mentioned in the planning process for many militaries, but the purpose is different than design thinking. While they are not the same, this post suggests why they are still complimentary:


[WATCH – 42 Mins] This video from the “Innovations Methodologies for Defense Challenges” (IMDC) conference includes a diverse group of designers discussing military design education. Note the challenges and opportunities of being “designful” about design education and that this movement ultimately comes down to passionate individuals who are willing to take risks, fail in interesting ways, and share what they have learned:


Practitioner ♦

[READ – 10 mins] This is the first in a five-part series by Archipelago of Design member Ben Zweibelson. Each piece is meant to generate debate over how designers could reframe conventional military wisdom. While the writing style is philosophical, there are real-world implications, making all the posts well worth the time to read…and critically engage. Remember, the Archipelago of Design is so named to evoke the metaphorical imagery of loosely connected – but independent – islands.


[WATCH – 90 Mins] Daniel Hulter facilitated a virtual engagement that began with creating conditions for reflection and engagement through the “spiral journey” exercise. Such facilitated activities serve as “interfaces” that can be deliberately designed to create specific effects in workshops and meetings. The session also explored how to integrate various interfaces as well as how to anticipate, account for, and manage behavior of workshop participants. This is a good demonstration of how AoD provides multiple forums for  advancing the community of practice:

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