We partner to address business and social challenges in creative ways. We are strategists, designers, educators, visual facilitators, storytellers, scientists, artists, trauma therapists, and more. We specialize in sustainability, change management, and user-centered design thinking.
We collaborate with organizations of all sizes and shapes. We aim to disrupt the status quo and don’t shy away from complexity. We work on communication graphics, products, services, campaigns, social research, educational programs, and odd combinations of projects large and small.
We are literate in climate realities and designing visual system languages for diverse, compelling, and rich stories around climate change + impact.
How do we design the next generation of cars by learning from nature?
Fiat Chrysler Automotive brought us in for a year-long process of helping them integrate bio-inspired design and biomimicry into their innovation practices. We created a tail-gate party to help them learn how a pinecone could inform the design of an air filter, how a deer antler could give them the best strength through form geometry, and how windshields could be self cleaning like a lotus leaf.
After working with two other groups unsuccessfully, we turned the human-centered design process toward them, setting up site visits on campus, interviewing stakeholders from various sectors and levels, and immersing ourselves in their world. We ended up designing custom tools, workshops, and learning activities specifically targeting a shift in their relationship to nature, and getting them outside more on Chrysler’s campus. This work resulted in bringing team members together who typically never communicated, increasing work health and wellness by getting outside, and them developing radical new ideas — and even new patents.
How we scale Design Thinking across our tech product dev teams?
Home Depot’s Quote Center is an arm of HD focused on creating accessible tech tools to support the needs of professional contractors. After designing a successful dynamic pricing tool, they wanted to scale design thinking across their growing tech team. We collaborated to run a 3-day immersion off-site to bring leadership and designers together and get on the same page. This work helped them practice methods of design thinking, business model canvas mapping, and set them up for success in the next phase of their process: understanding the life of the Pro customer.
How can we design relevant educational programs?
In collaboration with Portland State University’s School of Business, we have provided design and innovation services over the years. We thrive in supporting clients where we are needed across the whole design process - from designing logos and brand stories, to facilitating conversations in a room, to final production of print and digital media. Our work resulted in logo/brand designs for Impact Entrepreneurs and their yearly Elevating Impact Summit conference, the integration of Design Thinking in their social innovation certification programs, and more.
What are we thinking about?
Read our Visual Blog.
We’d love to hear from you!
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Visual published to explain my findings during my masters degree research project. Subject: Applying Biomimicry methodologies for sustainability-focused design outcomes. S. Koehler
Visual entered into a juried showing for research projects for the National Collegiate Innovation and Inventors Alliance (NCIIA) Conference.
S.Koehler, 2012. Evaluated current paper towel dispensers, research user behavior patters, and redesigned the product. Ran life-cycle assessments to put data to the redesigning, ensuring it reduced it’s environmental impact.
S.Koehler. Redesigning a refrigerator during my MA in Sustainable Design education.
This is a lecture I delivered (and drew) for Design Week Portland to share how Biomimicry can lead to more innovative solutions for designers.
Mapping the Life-cycle of a Cotten Tote Bag for sustainable product design coursework. S.Koehler, 2012
I ran a workshop with CP titled Visual Thinking Tools for Creative Problem Solving, then did an end-of-retreat reflection activity with them. Based on the read-out of the session, I drew everyone’s favorite memories of the week and captured the diversity of their experiences.
Strategic illustration, white on black paper, pre-experience workshop design and post-experience visual capture
Reflecting the beautiful landscape of their 2017 retreat at Islandwood Retreat Center on Bainbridge Island.
Crafted a reflection activity with the retreat facilitators. Drew custom illustrations of each staff member and gifted them at the end of the long (but fun) week.
I am not a caricature artist. I wanted to tackle this challenge to see if I could do it.
Worked in the room for a 3-day Innovation Workshop and facilitated the section on the Business Model Canvas. While I captured the event on paper in real-time using pencil. The client wanted a time-lapse video so I inked the three large posters in my studio after the fact. I also created a ‘white board’ style video for the client because they were on-boarding 100+ people in the next year and wanted this content as a tool.
Here’s a close-up of the dense content capture in 3-full day workshops. Email me to request more close-ups or to see the full poster art.
Care Oregon is an umbrella organization for 6 coordinated care orgs in Oregon. They gathered top leadership to discuss their unifying brand story. This was a real-time capture from a 2-hr meeting.
I was sent to the conference for a week and capture talks throughout each day. This is a real-time capture of the summary for the week on the final day given by the international conference organizer.
IDEO.org co-founder, Patrice Martin, shares her take on the problem with problems. In her experience using design thinking in the social sector, she helps us rethink the way we think about problems -- to see the world as people, not as problems; to address the people, not the problem. Real-time visual capture from the audience.
Visually captured in real-time from the audience at the International Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) 50th year conference.
3-posters captured a full day meeting with Nike Foundation leadership to reflect on what they’ve learned from the past year. Drawn in real-time.
Sketched during an evening lecture series. Real-time sketch.
Synthesized from the 2 weeks I sat on a jury and from the lawyer’s 30-page document. Created for lawmakers to learn of the case as quickly as possible.
This was created as a personal project to share info I learned as a juror on a civil trial regarding abuse in an Oregon foster home. I was later invited by Representative Keny-Guyer to share this testimony verbally alongside DHS director at the state capitol during an informational hearing with legislators.
Live visual capture done for a local elementary school in Portland, OR. Collaborated in real-time with Danielle Olsen.