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It was just like last year. Sept 27, 2013 came and went while we were knee deep in a room littered with post-it pads of ideas. So much so, that we almost forgot that it’s been 3 years since Design Sojourn became a strategic design consultancy.

Most of the learning we spoke of in our first year still holds true, especially our values and our mission which you see boldly displayed above.

The overall strategy is also still sound and we will continue to follow it. But some of the things have changed, so we will need to tweak the path a little.

Here are some of my reflections and learnings from our 3rd year in business:

1) Running a business is hard. Really hard! It is a non-stop roller coaster ride. As a means to cope, we have decided not to take ourselves too seriously at times. We occasionally even try to laugh at adversity.

At the end of the day, I have concluded that we do not really own our businesses. We are but custodians for a business with a higher purpose to create change for a greater good.

2) We are also very blessed that while we are only in the beginning of the fourth quarter and we have already worked on more projects than our first 2 years combined. Not only that, 45% of our work are with overseas clients. We believe that design can change the world and make people’s lives better, and I am really happy to find clients that feel the same way too.

3) With this huge influx of work, we have welcomed two new members into our team. We are now a four-man strong, highly skilled strategic design team. (Updates to the about page soon.)

4) We have formalized our training and education activities into a new spin-off brand called Methodology. Methodology was conceptualised one evening, over a foot massage and bubble tea in Cebu, to be on the cutting edge of design education and the methodology of doing design.

In Infographics Thinking (31st October to 1st November 2013), our first workshop under our new brand, we have collaborated with creative publishing giant Gestalten, to bring to Singapore Francesco Franchi, a master of information design. In this 2 day workshop participants will learn how to create impactful infographics that can be used in graphic design, visual journalism, and even annual reports. (Sorry, but we are sold out!)

5) After much tugging and pulling we have grudgingly dropped Industrial Design from our range of services and have replaced it with Design Research. It’s not that we don’t do Industrial Design any more; instead we are seeing a greater value in the latter and how it gives rise to presenting design as an ecosystem rather then a series of disciplines. Especially since I worked with the City of Taipei (in Taiwan) to help them re-design one of their streets.

So with these 5 points in tow, it’s now back to “paradise”. But where do we go to next? I do have a plan, but it’s in beta. Interestingly, I think it is this flexibility of being in beta that has really helped us go with the flow and spot these great opportunities when they come sailing by.

Before I sign off, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all our family, friends, partners, readers and clients who have walked this journey with us so far. Please do keep in touch?

Nestled in sunny Singapore, the vibrant red-dot of Asia, Design Sojourn is one of the world’s most exciting Strategic Design Consultancies. Just only 2.5 years old, this up and coming Design Consultancy has racked up a sizable portfolio of multi-disciplinary clients that span Government Institutions, Healthcare Organizations, Multi-National Companies, Medium-Sized Enterprises and Start-ups. Design Sojourn has earned a reputation for game changing strategies, exciting Design Driven Innovation, and is frequently commissioned for workshop and speaking engagements.

We are currently expanding our team, and are looking for someone to fill the role of: Design Researcher.

Here are the requirements:

1) Be a graduate with a Diploma or Degree in Design of any discipline. (People with non-design backgrounds will be considered, but must have required experience and submit a portfolio with relevant projects.)

2) Have a minimum 2 years of experience. (Exceptional fresh graduates will be considered.)

3) Owns a digital portfolio of projects that shows with a strong design process (with clear research and synthesis activities) that leads to smart, engaging and implementable solutions.

4) Have a positive outlook, flexible with a can-do attitude, articulate and a good communicator (verbal and written).

The responsibilities of a Design Researcher entail:

1) Human-centered research activities that involve both field and desktop research work.

2) Participating and co-facilitating in workshops.

3) Analysis and synthesis of said research work.

4) Designing and implementing solutions that would result from said research work.

5) Sorting, photography, photocopying, filing, writing, blogging, model making, Ctr+V/Ctr+C, walking, running etc. and anything else I can think of. (Just kidding on the last bit, but it may occasionally seem that way.)

Finally all interested applicants must already reside in Singapore, and able to work under the prevailing labor laws. Please send your documents to brian [at] designsojourn.com. Alternatively, you can to leave your burning questions in the comment section below.

Due to my huge email load, I regret to inform you that only short listed participants will be contacted and/or invited for a coffee chat. Thank you.

Design-Thinking-Workshop-7

Our eighth Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop runs again at the end of this month! After our 7th workshop, which was just bursting with our legendary interactive content and hands on activities, we were all fired up to do it again. So if you missed it, and I know many of you emailed to tell us, do sign up now!

Here are the details:

DATE: 27th & 28th March 2013
(Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is a Public Holiday)

TIME: 9 am – 5.30 pm

LOCATION: Singapore Management University

Registration closes at 11.59pm on the 15th of March 2013. Please RSVP to our awesome new Operations Executive Shan at admin (at) designsojourn.com. As usual spaces are limited, so do sign up or sign your friend up soon.

For more details click on the EDM below:

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 8

In September last year, do you remember I mentioned that I was going to Berlin to co-facilitate a workshop with our partners The Design Thinkers group?

Well after a copious amount of beer with occasional random ranting (and raving), wondering if the tap water is safe to drink in Potsdam, and getting a german chip embedded in my brain (it seems), here is what happened at our workshop The Role of Design in Value Co-Creation and Innovation:


I’m at 1.05mins with my super eagle claw kung-fu move!

If you are interested to see how Design can help you shape, improve and rethink your business, do not hesitate to drop me a email at our contact page for a obligation free design clinic!

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