James Miner’s New Blueprint for Global Design

James Miner shares some of the ways Sasaki intends to build a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable global design practice

Sasaki thought to preserve the ancient urban fabric of Panlong Tiandi, while reimagining what the historic town can look like today.
Courtesy of Sasaki

Select projects that align with your aspirational values.

Consider whether or not the projects you accept align with the people working on those projects—if your team is excited by the work they are doing, the work will be exponentially better and more rewarding.

Practice active listening.

Resist the impulse to begin by solving the design problem in front of you, and instead start by cultivating more equitable input through creative community engagement. When presenting your design ideas, think of it as conversation rather than a lecture, and express genuine desire to learn from your audience.

Take your cues from the culture.

You don’t have to entirely disregard your own best practices; you just need to make space for other points of view and consider them with equal weight.

Prioritize systems thinking.

In addition to the physical aspects of planning and design, consider the ecological, economic, and sociological systems that are unique to each place, and how they should inform the design solution.

Strive for a global, culturally fluent, culturally diverse workforce.

If your recruiting networks don’t provide this opportunity, consider changing or expanding these networks beyond what you have typically done in the past.

Plan and design for sustainability and resilience.

While you may not think of it this way, designing for future generations is a fundamental equity issue.

Read James Miner’s guest editor letter.