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SXSW 2021

Relational Design

Human-centered design shifted designers from a fascination with things to people and brought design thinking, empathy and humanity into the mainstream of product and program development after mass industrialization. With globalization, an unflinching focus on consumers, and the emergence of exponential technologies like AI making the world increasingly complex, has this conception of design centered on humans run its course?

There's a growing mindset that centering on individual and consumerism in design has gone too far. How do we combat this, and what's next for design? This talk will dive into another idea, going back to the relational aesthetics movement and thinking deeply about group participation and the role of the user, and why it is essential with the growth of technologies

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  1. How user-centered design has got us to where we are and why we need something new
  2. A new way of thinking about design -- relationships, systems, and emergence
  3. We need to start thinking laterally and speculatively


  • Jess Holbrook, Co-Lead, People + AI Research, Google


Blake Stewart, Account Coordinator, The Bulleit Group

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