Todd Dunn: Design For People

If you read, listen, or watch anything this week I believe it needs to be this brief 17 minute video. In it Todd Dunn, Chief of Innovation at Intermountain Health, talks about his quest in Design For People.

It personally resonated with me.

I have spent the majority of my career in designing spaces for health and care around the world to deliver care at the N of 1.

Todd is masterful in his articulation, his example, and the personal story he shares on why context is king for design in healthcare.

In order for us to “Design For People” we need to move out of our context and place ourselves in the context of where the health and care is provided between a person as a patient and a caregiver.

Todd also beautifully articulates the 2 fundamental tools for effective empathetic observation and begins with this quote:

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization ~Roger Ebert

The 2 tools needed are:

  1. Empathy: the emotional and social understanding of how people feel and want to feel
  2. Curiosity: the child like freedom to look, study, learn, listen, and ask questions to understand

There are even more wonderful tidbits from this video.

In all of my travels and all of my conversations, the one thing that is the common thread in all of health and care is that the people we care for want our empathy.

I want to thank Todd for his great work, his great insights, and for sharing this with me and allowing me to share it with the world.

Todd and I believe that empathy with design enables us to care at the N of 1.

As always you can feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek



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