Language for Transition


Thursday, 27 Sep. 15:30–15:50


Language for Transition

/ Koen Peters


Language and conversations are at the heart of our current design practice. There is the growing importance of voice UIs (with new job profiles like dialogue designers), and the design process itself is all about co-creation and facilitating conversation between stakeholders. So, language and conversation skills are essential to us designers.

 Language is also crucial when you try to understand and bring about change in a system or an organisation. An organisation is its language, and you cannot innovate or change an organisation if you stick to its current language. Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions help you better evaluate an organisation and its culture before designing for transition.

 At Namahn, we have been developing a Systemic Design toolkit. The tools in this toolkit are workshop tools, tools for conversation. They allow us to zoom out to and design on a system level (versus the level of interactions or the level of services). This “systemic lens” is very useful when you want to intervene in a system or organisation, when you are designing for transition.

 I will share our first ideas on a language for transition: first, understand the current language of the organisation and foster conversations using a systemic lens. Then, start creating a new language for transition using metaphors and “constructive” words…


Koen Peters

Koen Peters has been working at Namahn for 18 years, mainly as information architect and UX designer. He is a regular speaker at Euroia and was co­chair in 2016 (Amsterdam).