Thoughtless Acts: Clean Plate Club
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Thoughtless Acts: Clean Plate Club

words:
Shuya Gong
visuals:
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read time:
published:
July
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.

It doesn't look like much, but this spoon/bowl combo was a satisfying dining experience. Not long ago, I visited a college cafeteria that had several different stations, each with a different kind of plastic cutlery. Someone suggested that I use a plastic spoon from one station with a bowl from another, because they had observed over time that the inside radius fillet of this bowl perfectly matched the outside radius curve of the spoon. This way, your spoon always scraped the corner of the bowl clean. They had gone so far as to make sure there was always a supply of spoons at the the other counter, to make sure they could use them with the mis-matching bowl.

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Shuya Gong
IDEO Alum
Shuya Gong is a designer at IDEO CoLab's Cambridge studio. With a background in mechanical engineering, she has a penchant for whisking up product prototypes that showcase the potential for emergent technologies in our day to day lives.
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