We use cookies to improve your browsing experience.
And cake to boost morale on Fridays. Find out more about our cookie policy here.
Uh oh! Looks like your browser’s out of date.
You’ll have more fun viewing our site on one of these instead.


Thoughtless Acts: Urban Summer

Apr 19 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 the invention of new products, services, and experiences.

Ta Nazli 1

I took this picture last summer while I was back home in Istanbul. Summer in Istanbul is very, very hot. Sometimes the mercury in the city gets up to 113F. It’s pretty unbearable.

On toasty afternoon, I took this picture of a bunch of people capitalizing on the shade in a park to avoid the sun. At that time of day and year, the shadows defined the usable space within the park.

From a design researcher’s perspective, this picture says so much about how the sun and shade affect how we interact with cities and spaces. Sometimes design is all about constraints.

It’s a great reminder of all the factors to consider when we design for urban environments. Or a great reminder that nature is a designer, too.

Read more from our Thoughtless Acts series here.

  • 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."