KSENIA PACHIKOV

Contributed Articles

Tutorial: From Research to Action—Leading Teams Through Synthesis

Instructors: KSENIA PACHIKOV (Principal, Field Studio) & MARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPAN (Design Director, IDEO) Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. After the richness of fieldwork, the research and design team must figure out, “What does this mean?” and “What should we do?” The synthesis phase presents a tough set of issues: we want to accurately represent all of our participants, yet we must make hard decisions around whose stories and learnings to prioritize. New data and points of view, sometimes conflicting, are introduced by other stakeholders in the project. And we must move from being descriptive to being directional. In this tutorial you’ll learn strategies for two key challenges of synthesis: emotional dynamics—how we navigate interpersonal relationships to come to alignment—and convergence—how to prioritize when faced with tons of data and ideas. Participants will learn how to externalize the hidden criteria...

Tutorial: Making Sense—Leading Teams Through Synthesis

KSENIA PACHIKOV Field & StudioMARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPAN IDEO Overview The synthesis phase presents a unique challenge to collaboration. Synthesis requires teams to make creative leaps, and to have a trusted, systematic approach with which to do so. This tutorial will equip practitioners to create favorable conditions for creative thinking and team alignment. It draws on theories of creativity and the psychology of memory and transition in order to practically address the intellectual and emotional challenges of synthesis. We’ll address the logic by which new insights and ideas emerge in synthesis through a grounding in abductive reasoning, found in fields such as anthropology, literature, engineering, and AI. We’ll also explore how to maintain a sense of progress by marking peaks, lows, and transitions throughout the experience. This two-fold approach to synthesis will allow participants to reflect on past experiences and practice future interactions intended to guide teams through the intellectual and emotional tensions...