Design Thinking for Hot People

By     Nov 15, 2014
Creative Community Fellow

Sara Greer

I was studying Design Thinking a few weeks ago and simultaneously reflecting on yet another generic "hottest broads of burning man" list someone shared on a local chat page. These lists are republished yearly by tourist-y bloggers who shoot generically attractive, thin, Caucasian (and sometimes Asian or Latina), straight-haired girls, usually under 30. They often wear feathers, something banned at Burning Man for years. They are girls posing majestically, looking serene, contemplative, overly-merry. They represent a small percentage of playa beauties.

As I pondered this, something neat  happened, connecting the silly list and Design Thinking.

On the thread of the post, I shared my fantasy version of the "hotlist"-being inclusive of a wider range of beauty, shape, ethnicity, gender identification, hair-type etc and involving shots of creation, work, gifting etc, not just posing. This idea was liked by many and then two community members expressed specific interest in helping this idea become an actual blog. In moments, an idea was examined and a possible solution proposed.

Here is a short explanation of Design Thinking:


Design Thinking starts with a complicated problem, in this case -The imposition of Default World beauty aesthetics on a society trying to create something different.

The first step is Empathizing with the effected group, in this case-"Types" not included on the list & even those included, everyone who thinks Burning Man is full of blonds in headdresses, Everyone who sees more blonds with headdresses yearly and sees this as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Next, in the process is Defining the Challenges , in this case-Giving power to outsiders and tourists to define our beauty for us. Choosing to represent locally or globally if we create our own list. Creating something users can upload to but no one has to babysit.

After that is Idea generation (How do we negate this silliness?), creating a Prototype (simple free blog and a small circulation)and finally, Testing. In the span of a few online conversations, we are currently idea creating and close to creating a prototype.

It was remarkable to see such work-shopping of an idea in so short a time. I was not expecting someone to volunteer to create the site. It was a great, mini example of Design Thinking as a real-world, problem solving tool.