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What Nature Can Teach Us About Design

As designers we're inspired by looking at the world. Most often we take an exclusively human-centered view, but we'll learn more if we broaden that view to include the natural world. If we're curious and look carefully, nature will teach us to design for human needs and desires in more elegant and sustainable ways.

About Jane

Jane Fulton Suri is Managing Partner and Creative Director at IDEO. As such, she’s responsible for evolving excellence in content and craft, human insight, and design thinking in service of clients worldwide.

Jane came to IDEO from psychology and architecture with the ambition to bring social science-based perspectives to the design practice. Working on diverse challenges for clients in multiple industries, she pioneered human-centered approaches and fostered a collaborative community of kindred spirits, including designers, anthropologists, and other social scientists. She evolved techniques for empathic observation and experience prototyping that are now employed widely in the design and innovation of products, services, and environments, as well as systems, organizations, and strategies. Jane went on to co-lead IDEO’s global Consumer Experience practice. Based in Boston, she is now focused on the creative direction of the company.

To increase the accessibility of human-centered tools, Jane co-authored and published IDEO’s Method Cards. She also created Thoughtless Acts? Observations on Intuitive Design (Chronicle Books, 2005), a collection of snapshots that depict the subtle and creative ways in which people interact with the world. Jane believes that everyone is creative and resourceful at heart and finds great rewards when tapping into that capacity. As designers face increasingly complex and systemic challenges, she has begun to look beyond human behavior to explore how patterns in nature and living systems may inform and inspire more elegant and sustainable solutions.

Jane is a popular public speaker: she addresses design and business audiences, and she lectures at Stanford University, the California College of the Arts, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and other schools internationally. Her work has won design and research awards, including Industrial Designers Society of America and Industrie Form Europe, and she holds several patents for design innovations.

Jane Fulton Suri

Jane Fulton Suri, Managing Partner and Creative Director, IDEO 

Nationality: US

Company: IDEO

Title: Managing Partner and Creative Director



TEDxWWF brought together forward-thinking speakers who shared their endeavours and insights (scientific, adventurous, artistic or otherwise) that question and change the way we think, live and work to meet the challenges of living on our one planet.

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