Monthly Archives: December 2012

Dating by Design

Written by . Filed under Learn. Tagged , . No comments.

Dating by Design

Navigating the complexities of modern relationships

We spend a lot of time perfecting our craft at work – striving for that 10,000 hours. But when was the last time you spent dedicated time on getting better at relationships? Perhaps because designers are often tasked with solving “wicked”, complex problems, the language of design provides many useful metaphors for exploring the complexities of modern relationships. By using design as a language to talk about dating and relationships, the conversation becomes more objective, and less subjective (aka less awkward).

DwD hosted Ayla Newhouse to present a design charette (a short, intensive and collaborative design exercise) for relationships, to apply the creativity and processes of design to dating and relationships. Participants were matched up into small groups to design their way out of (or into) fictional relational and dating situations.

dating sketchThanks to Aimee @ISEEAIMEE for the live sketching.

Hosting the session:

Ayla Newhouse is a Communication, Interaction and “Attraction” Designer with 16 years of relationship experience ranging from misalignment to creative brilliance. She is the creator of Dating by Design, and the author of “the ABC’s of Dating by Design” ( Ayla also offers one-on-one and couples Dating by Design consulting.  Follow her at @aisforayla

Previously, Ayla co-founded a social gratitude journal that helps people recognize the good things in their lives. A graduate of the Communication Design program at the Emily Carr Institute and the Interdisciplinary Design program at the Institute without Boundaries, Ayla worked with Normative Design and Bruce Mau Design before starting her own design/coaching practice in 2011.

2012 Retreat: Envisioning 2013

Written by . Filed under Act, Retreat. 2 Comments.

A dedicated group of DwD members engaged in a year-end retreat and participatory planning session Saturday, December 15. Facilitated as an Appreciative Inquiry by Greg, Peter and Patricia, we explored the inspirations from over a dozen incredible workshops in 2012, our dreams for the new year, and the opportunities for designing actions for our near future.


Using the Group Pattern language card deck, pairs shared about the applicable meaning of selected cards for relevance to DwD practice. The sharing dialogue was sketched to reflect the meaning of its relationship to DwD:

DwD Retreat

Actions to Continue, Stop, or Start new filled the whiteboard after group reflection on actions and new directions for 2013.


We haven’t synthesized the design plan and next steps from the recommendations yet. The intention with sharing the artifacts here is to share with the whole community the ideas, interests and new directions supported by core DwD members.

Look for the following changes in 2013:

  • Revamp the DwD brand and synch with its support network and communities (OCADU, KMDI, Overlap)
  • Publish the pipeline of upcoming DwD sessions and collaborations – invite the entire DwD community to participate in creating and facilitating sessions
  • Revise the website to enable bidirectional communication and posting
  • Share on the website the individual work we do as a result of learning: Inspirations and facilitated engagements that draw from DwD practice
  • DwD for Designers to create dialogue processes
  • Invite non-designers to DwD, increase variety and diversity of participation
  • Promote visual storytelling, metaphorical design, and embodied practices
  • Spinoff DwDx (as TEDx) by supporting non-Toronto affiliates
  • “What’s inspiring you lately?” section on website
  • Create movement and dance-inspired DwD sessions