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Thoughtless Acts: A Seat on the Street

Nov 02 2017

Human-centered design requires us to observe human behavior with beginner's eyes, so that we can spot the innate ways people interact with the world around them. We call these intuitive and unconscious reactions Thoughtless Acts, and IDEO designers collect photos of them to inspire their work.

Thoughtless Acts Nazli 2

I took this picture last summer while I was back home in Istanbul. Istanbul is a city that people mold to fit their needs. Market owners, residents, even kids always find ways to reimagine the streets. Sometimes it’s a group of kids turning a cul-de-sac into a football field. Sometimes it’s the residents of the neighborhood having tea on the stairs of a building, treating the street as a café.

Growing up in there made me look at sidewalks in a completely different way. Last summer, while I was wandering around my neighborhood, I noticed this amazing piece of furniture that our neighborhood market owner made. He put a pillow on top of the water containers and turned them into a bench. It’s a perfect temporary seating arrangement.

  • Nazlican Goksu

    Design Researcher, IDEO San Francisco
    Nazlican is a Design Researcher particularly interested in systemic challenges, especially those that involve urban design. She finds inspiration from cities and public randomness. Born and raised in Turkey, she now calls 4 different cities "home".