What will I learn?


Flipping the directionality in international design collaboration to explore how our different lenses can contribute.

Insider (emic) and outsider (etic) perspectives are an essential element of ethnographic work. In doing design work, designers are required more and more to understand the nuances of this insider-outsider relationship as they engage in cross-cultural collaboration. The tension between the insider and outsider views can help to create a more balanced ethnographic study.

This class experience will explore the value of inside perspective, the value of outside perspective, and how inside and outside perspectives might be better harmonized to yield more impactful creative insights. It will help you explore how outsiders and insiders might better collaborate given their different blind spots and viewpoints.

Designers often understand their role as outsiders, but less often play the role of insiders. In this pop-up, students at Stanford University be ‘insider’ and students from the The Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (The University of the West Indies) in Trinidad and Tobago will be ‘outsiders’. Together, we will work to understand a social problem in Silicon Valley.

Over the course of the two sessions, you will:

  • explore how we might understand problems through multiple cultural lenses, as both an insider and outsider

  • examine and challenge cliches and stereotypes to understand culture

  • reframe research insights into a point of view and preliminary concepts

  • develop skills in international networking and building relationships in cross-cultural teams

  • explore how you might navigate and nudge cultural power dynamics in design interventions

This pop-out will be open to students at the d.school and the The Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (The University of the West Indies) in Trinidad and Tobago.

Teaching Team

Glenn Fajardo
Former Director of Co-Design Practice, TechSoup Global Network, TechSoup

Michael Lee Poy
Director, Lee Poy Design