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Blog

Thoughtless Acts: Urban Surfing

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Feb 15 2018

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.

If you think about my hometown of Munich, surfing is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. So what do you do if you love surfing but live deep down in Bavaria? You just have to make it happen. Take a bunch of crazy surf dudes, add the freezing cold "Eisbach"—a small man-made river located at the English Garden in downtown Munich that provides the perfect "standing wave"—and there you go. There is always someone taking a ride—early in the morning, when the city is still asleep and you are on your way to the office, at noon during a quick lunch break, in the afternoon for a sunset session, or even at night or in the snow. (The Eisbach has even lured professional surfers like Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina, and Mick Fanning.) Hang loose can be found everywhere around the world—you just have be creative.

  • Sabrina Keller

    Leadership Coordinator, IDEO Munich
    Sabrina Keller is a leadership coordinator with IDEO's Munich studio. A lover of lists and a perfectionist at heart, she skillfully creates order out of chaos and strives to have a comprehensive overview of the office's working dynamics.
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