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Design Thinking DC Meetup

  • Open Gov Hub 1110 Vermont Avenue Northwest Suite 500 Washington, DC, 20005 United States (map)

Design Thinking DC Meetup: Practice Lab - Improving Your Observational Skills

DT:DC Meetup is being hosted at Open Gov Hub. 

Jim Gilmore, author of Look - A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills, believes that How you LOOK at the world informs what you THINK of the world which informs how you ACT in the world. In other words, innovation begins with observation.


I don't think many of us stop to think about how we look at the world. In our busy day-to-day lives, most of us are hyper-focused on getting things done and spend little to no time intentionally listening for sounds, paying attention to smells or observing behaviors of workers and customers in a service environment. We might even think that observing people is - well - rude.

Join us for a fun night to slow down and practice your observational skills. We will start with a few quick exercises to prime our eyes and then head out for a self-led field trip to make observations and document our findings. We will regroup at the end of the evening to share our experiences and reflections.

This workshop requires you to walk so please wear comfortable shoes and dress warmly for the evening temperatures. Please also bring your cell phone and pair of earphones to access audio instructions during the field trip.

What You Will Learn

• How to use a framework for making observations

• How to take note of overlooked details

• How to use secondary factors to see more overall

• How to see a whole experience through the parts of the experience

Workshop Agenda

6:30 - Networking

6:45 - Introductions and Warm-up

7:15 - Self-led Observational Field Trip

8:25 - Return to OpenGov Hub

8:30 - Debrief

8:45 - Close