Mixed Methods


The Future is Life-Centered - Jane Fulton Suri, IDEO

Today’s guest, Jane Fulton Suri, always seems to be looking at the world in a new way and helping others to as well. She is currently a Partner Emeritus at IDEO, where she has been working since the late 80s in a number of different roles, including Chief Creative Officer and Executive Design Director. Jane is an expert observer and has a way of approaching each project with a voracious curiosity that has been inspiring the research world for decades. She is unequivocally one of the founders of the field of design research, a psychologist by training, who pioneered the idea that observing behavior and bringing principles of psychology into a design context could create a more human centered world. Listen to this episode to find out more about Jane’s path and her passion for not only Human-Centered Design, but something she is now calling Life-Centered Design.

Interview Transcript

Aryel: Welcome to this week’s episode of Mixed Methods and the third in our series about the future of UX research.

As you’ll soon notice, I didn’t host today’s conversation myself. Nadia Surtees a talented design researcher and friend did. Mixed Methods at its heart has always been about building community around research and what better way to show that than to include as many voices in the conversation as possible. So today is a first, but hopefully not a last. Here’s this week’s show:

Jane: I'd always thought about human beings as living beings, part of nature, not separate, personally. I began to want to talk about the opportunity to think of ourselves not just about human and human culture, but ourselves within a broader system, a broader ecosystem of other living things of which we are apart.

Aryel: Ever since I became a researcher, I’ve loved the work of today’s guest Jane Fulton Suri. She always seems to be looking at the world in a new way and helping others to as well. She is an expert observer and has a way of approaching each project with a voracious curiosity, I find so inspiring. Jane is unequivocally one of the founders of the field of design research, a psychologist by training, who pioneered the idea that observing behavior and bringing principles of psychology into a design context could create a more human centered world. I struggled with what to call this episode because Jane and Nadia managed to pack so much wisdom and insight into such a small amount of time from how to inspire and inform your team to how biomimicry and the circular economy will change the future. I hope you enjoy today’s conversation as much as I did.

This is Aryel Cianflone and you're listening to Mixed Methods. Today's episode, The Future is Life-Centered.

Today’s episode is brought to you by dscout, a platform that makes qualitative research fun again. From recruitment, project design, to interviews, you'll get that feeling that got you interested in user-centered work in the first place. Capture remote insights that spark your next big “a-ha!” moment. Check out dscout.com/mm to get started

Nadia: Jane, you're a psychologist by training. What inspired you to bring these philosophies and practices into the design world?

Jane: Yes, that was a long time ago, remembering back to being a psychologist. I think the thing that really got me excited about psychology was the application to everyday life. There are lots of branches of psychology that look at different things like education or, say, mental health. But I was just fascinated by people's behavior and the relationships that they had with stuff in everyday life. I wanted to understand more about that, and find ways that we could apply understanding to the things we make and the spaces we create and the services we provide. I just felt there was a big unmet opportunity to apply what seemed to be fairly academic and distant to everyday life.

Nadia: How did you get started with IDEO, and I believe it was ID2 back in the time that you began?

Jane: It was, yes. It was a lucky find for me. I had for many years, been struggling a little bit to find how to ... The idea of application of psychology, how do I get to meet the right people in order to do that? I started out working on finding things that had gone wrong. I had a job with a research institute that was basically troubleshooting mismatches between people and the stuff that was being designed, and mismatches meaning companies were discovering nobody knew how to use their product or they were having accidents with the product. I would go in and explain why, which was usually some sort of design assumption that had been made that was faulty.

I was coming from a place of, "Oh boy, it's too late. I need to get with designers when they're making decisions about things." So I knocked on doors of design companies for many years, and I did some early teaching on design courses, thinking, "Well, talking to students as they're becoming designers and helping them think about people a bit more deeply might be a useful way in." All of that was useful. But it was only when I had this almost chance meeting with Bill Moggridge, who was the founder of ID2 at that time.

I was staying in San Francisco, and a friend of mine said, "You should meet this guy. He's a designer and he thinks about people." So I went to meet him, and we just had an amazing conversation, and it ended up with him asking me, "What would you like to happen as an outcome of this?" I said, "I'd like you to offer me a job," which was very unlike me to just come out with something like that, but that's what happened. He said, "Well, let's see what we can do about it," and that's what we did about it.

Even then, in the early days, I had to meet everybody, I had to meet everybody in the studio in San Francisco, and of course being British, I was on a visa, short-term visa, and I had to meet everybody in the UK office. I just loved everybody. There was obviously really good chemistry, and I wanted to continue living in San Francisco and not go to London because I knew what working in Britain was like. Not that it was bad, but it was a special time back then of a new technology that was beginning to take hold, basically personal computing, and of course, San Francisco and Silicon Valley was ahead of the UK at that time, especially in a ... well, Silicon Valley, just being where it was all happening creatively.

I'd had the experience in London, I think, of failing to get people excited about the idea that I had. It seemed like a moment, in what was happening around Silicon Valley, including San Francisco, to be involved in those conversations because it was clearly something that companies were asking themselves, "This is a new thing. How are people going to work with this, and what should we call it, and how should we do it?" There were lots of firsts of happening, and a lot of uncertainty about how to design things. Yeah. In the UK, one of the phrases that I'd got used to hearing was, "Well, we've always done it this way. There's nothing wrong with what we're doing," and maybe some reluctance to think afresh, and it was inevitable in San Francisco. That was my thinking.

Nadia: You just brought up a really interesting point about how do you get people excited about design, and for me, what's really striking about your approach is how you've infused inspiration into design. How did you begin with thinking about how to bring inspiration into the design process?

Jane: I think I learned about that pretty swiftly, because ... I mean, even going through the interview process with Bill and meeting all the designers, I became aware of the responses that were excited and seeing possibility and seeing opportunity in things that I was talking about. I told them about my experience, and about things going wrong, and of course, they could see why things had worked out the way they had worked out. I could see the excitement that certain kinds of stories I would tell about things in the world would meet them where they were, in terms of, I'm a designer so I can do something about it. I can make a decision, I can do it differently.

I just learned, from day-to-day interactions with the designers, that certain ways of approaching things would result in action. I think I had come from more of a tradition which was that ... especially, a researcher would come with information, and you would present information, and a long list of points or things to consider or more academic way of rapportage out of the observations or discoveries that we were making. But I found that by working with designers together and making discoveries together, we would own it together and they would feel empowered to act.

That's a really important thing in design and innovation, is not just to hear how things are, but for that to be a jumping off point and a point that makes you want to actually do something. That's what I think of inspiration as that, really the thing that makes you ... I guess, the word comes from breathing in, and that gives us power to live and move and use our muscles' energy. That became a phrase, to inspire and inform. It's not just about inspiration, but it needs to be informed. That's become a catch phrase in a way to inspire and inform, or information and inspiration. They have to live together, one feeding the other, and they relate.

For me, the idea of inspiration does relate to insight, because I think I mentioned discovering together with the designers. I think that idea of, "Oh wow, I never saw that before," or, "I never thought of it that way," or, "I didn't really interpret it that way." That moment of discovering something that you didn't know before is inspiring, and that, I think, is what an insight is; when something hits you as a new frame or a new piece of information that ... and you have a relationship with it because it makes you want to react, respond.

Nadia: The phrase you used before about empowering these designers to act, can you share a story of how a designer who wasn't so familiar with human-centered design, perhaps a designer from a graphic design background, was empowered to act through this process of inspiration?

Jane: I remember a very early project was related to the design of a scanner for use in retail, a laser scanner that reads barcodes. The big idea that the client had about this was, it was great because the unit would sit just on an existing counter, so it didn't need to be built in. It was a really easy thing to adapt, and it was very inexpensive because he was using very few lasers, which meant that, when you brought a barcode into its realm, you had to be very careful and specific about where the barcode would show up, otherwise it wouldn't read because it was a bit scarce on laser beams.

We spent quite a lot of time understanding the pattern of laser beams and where the place was that these barcodes needed to be introduced and how were we going to communicate that to regular shop people, users, and how could they learn to use it accurately really, really fast? Because right now, it was taking ages to teach them. We all got a bit seduced into ideas that related to how to communicate the sparked, by describing the lines that the laser beam was taking. We did some quick user trials, just inviting people in to try out some of our prototypes.

That was always a bit of a struggle with designers, like, "I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready yet." I'd be like, "No, come on. Let's just try because we're going to be spending time investing in this. So we should be checking ideas quickly." Checked the ideas, and then we quickly realized, I too in a way, just through that experience, that we were really focusing on the wrong thing. All the person needed to do was to have guidance to ... We came up with the idea of a target to point at, that might have nothing to do, whatsoever, with the way the things working.

But if we did just a little target graphic, it was very clear that you're supposed to match this with the target, and it worked straight away and we just were like, "Well, this is why we show people things and do things with people and look at their behavior, and we don't spend all our time thinking about it in our heads and drawing things on our drawing boards. We'll build it, test it, we learn really quickly. That was a very quick learning for both of us to learn together and see how to reach a conclusion that was incredibly successful.

It was so successful that people that we were testing the devices with thought that we were using completely different technology, because they could make one work, the one with the target, and they couldn't make the other one work, which was actually exactly the same, but it wouldn't work.

Nadia: Where did you get the inspiration for the target, to place on the scanner to begin with?

Jane: The idea of the target would have come, I believe, through a conversation between myself and the designer, when we were talking about, what is it that people need to be successful? They just need a target. A target. Well, there's an idea. Let's try a target. I mean literally. It was used metaphorically or figuratively, originally, the word, but the word, the conversation led to the solution, I think.

That's very literal example of the conversation leading to a solution, but I think that actually is core to the idea of collaboration, that the conversation struggling with the what did you see, what did we make of it, how together we're reaching some sort of insight, and then of course trying it out. Then it became really obvious, like, "Why didn't we think of that in the first place?"

Nadia: One thing that inspires me about your approach is how you're constantly experimenting with so many new methods to the world, and borrowing from many different disciplines and infusing it into human centered design. How do you have the confidence to weave together so many different methods and continue to experiment?

Jane: That's interesting. Is it confidence? It may be confident, it may be desperation. I'm thinking ... I think an important idea there, for me, is trying to get to the root of what I'm trying to learn. In any design challenge, I think I'm trying to unpack what it is that we don't know or where we might learn something that could help us think differently about something that seems intractable, or just we're bored by the challenge and we need to get excited because we need to do this.

I think it's a little bit about stepping back to first principles to ask that question, "Where might we learn something interesting, inspiring, new, and who might we involve, and how might we do that?" I'm sure I've done things that didn't really work, and haven't probably talked a lot about those. When you said confidence, I thought, often, we have no idea where the answer is going to be. I would probably be wanting to try several things. It would be more about, "Let's try this, and see if we can learn something." If that isn't fruitful, we would try something else.

I think one of the things I've always struggled with is the idea that there is a way to do this. As we've formulated good practices and we've shared with the world ways that design research can weave into a program, it always makes me slightly nervous that we're defining activities to do because, in actuality, we need to create space to allow exploration and failure along the way, and pivoting, reset where we're headed. That can be hard when you've asked somebody to spend a lot of money funding you to do one thing and you turn round and say you want to do something wildly different.

Nadia: Could you tell us a story of a project where there was more of a radical departure from traditional research methods and how that shaped a project?

Jane: Yes, I can tell you one of my favorites. We were working for Havaianas, who make flip flops, and they ... Brazilian company, they had asked us to think about how they might expand their products to include bags, not just shoes. The team really wanted to learn about the essence of Brazil and Brazilianess that is threaded through Havaianas into their product line. So they went to Brazil, and when I talked with the team about how they'd approached the program, they sheepishly said, "Yes, but Jane, we didn't do any interviews." I said, "Well, okay. I don't have a big thing about interviews. What did you do?"

They said, "Well, we were so excited by the way that colors are used in Brazil, and we took photographs and made studies about the way that color is used." They had photographs, all in their project space, of color that was either tying elements together in what looked like they just brought several items together to build something, but they'd painted everything blue and they were wearing blue uniforms. So there was some unity created by color, or things that were just maybe more fun and demonstrable.

This had led to them thinking a lot about how they would use color in the bags, and they had a whole system worked out about inside and outside. Another thing that they'd been looking at was the way that design operates in a very ad hoc kind of way in a country like Brazil, and built that into their own process. I was like, "This is the most exciting design research I've seen in so long," because they had put a lens on the world that had informed the design very directly and effectively.

I thought it was perfectly appropriate way to address the challenge that they were given, and it made me think that, "Yes, I'm really glad, and they really shouldn't be feeling guilty about not interviewing anybody." They'd done a lot of observation, not just color, but also the way that people carried things, the way things slung gently over people's shoulders. It wasn't all tight and European. It was very loose, mobile feeling. They'd done a wonderful job.

Nadia: That's awesome. How do you continue to get inspired?

Jane: I think I'm a really lucky person, because I just get inspired by most things in some ways, and especially people. I mean, I find I'm excited by what people make, and I'm excited just by what people do. I mean, this sounds very general, but I've thought about it a lot. It is true that this is what inspires me, and I think also the opportunity with people to explore those things behind their making and behind their doing, exploring those things together so that it's more of a collaborative exploration than formal or interview, or me observing you and taking from you.

I like the opportunity to say, "Oh, I noticed that while you were doing this, you do this. Why do you think you do this?" And make that more conversational. That, I think for me, goes into even things that haven't got anything to do with any kind of project. It's just a way ... it's how I navigate the world, is this unbridled curiosity, which probably drives people crazy sometimes, but it feeds me and I think it creates a connection with other people.

Because, it's interesting when somebody is interested in something about you that wasn't necessarily what you were projecting or the way you thought that people were thinking of you. This kind of what's behind it, what's underneath it, but probing, but in a friendly way. I think I find that really inspiring to me.

Nadia: Has there been a moment where you've spent time with a person, where this underlying behavior has led to a really unusual insight on a project?

Jane: I think one thing that comes to mind is realizing the power of turning the camera off. I'm sure there's lots of instances, but as you were asking that question, I thought of a rather dramatic moment, which was, we were doing something about dog food, I think. For some reason, it was not my tendency to use video actually, but we were videoing these interviews, and we were asking somebody about dog and how they feed their dog and all of this kind of thing. Then we finished the interview, packed up the camera, ready to go, and then we started ... I think the dog probably leapt into the room or something, and we started talking more about the dog.

There was a moment that was this realization that everything that we'd heard on the interview, and this was something I shared with the guy as he was talking, was a view of a dog which was different from what I was observing as his relationship with his dog, which was that, he enjoyed the wildness of his dog, like the wolf of the dog, and not this member of the family kind of ... Anyway, that just did feed an insight around how to talk to dog owners about dogs, especially big dogs. It just struck me that that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't just hung out for that time after the formal interview.

Nadia: That's really interesting, observing this wolf nature. Maybe it was talking to something instinctual that we all have in our own hearts, of wanting to let out an animal out in some way. Thinking about that, I'm really curious about the set of nature cards that you created, and your connection to living systems.

Jane: Yes. Well, I suppose ... Let me think. I mean, that's something that's been with me all my life, but I didn't really find an opportunity to make it connect until, well, I mean, fairly recently. I suppose it's only been 10 years I've been really thinking about that. But I think it came to me through exposure to movements like the biomimicry movement, for example. I've always been an admirer of Jeanine Benyus, and the ... yes, and Biomimicry, but it always felt a little separate from human-centered design. I knew that, we at IDEO, and I personally, had this really strong belief in human-centered design because design is a human thing, and we're doing it for ourselves.

But the biomimicry movement has its own process and is somewhat ... well, is it incompatible with what we were doing with human centered design? But I'd always thought about humans, the wolf. I'd always thought about human beings as living beings, part of nature, not separate, personally. I began to want to talk about the opportunity to think of ourselves not just about human and human culture, but ourselves within a broader system, a broader ecosystem of other living things of which we are apart. As we started to develop more opportunities around design challenges that were really big, global challenges, where food for everybody or fresh water or even air quality start to play in with thinking more systemically.

It seemed like a natural place to reassess our place, human beings' place, within the idea of a system, and not only laddering up to ecosystems and that we depend on these intricate systems around us for the things we need, like food, but also the fact that we're discovering all these things about ... that we are, ourselves, host to millions and millions of little microbes that are contributing to our own health. The micro level and the macro level, the system and our place in it, is really important and how might we be more aware of that as we're taking on these systemic design challenges.

It began to make a lot more sense to think about the role of nature and natural systems. I hired a biologist and we did some work in Cambridge with a biologist for a couple of years, and it was working with him that led to the development of those cards because he found himself on a whole range of different projects, referencing things in nature that might be relevant to that project, and changing the form of the conversation a little bit.

Nadia: How would a life-centered designer think and act, as distinct or maybe as a build on how human-centered designer might think and act?

Jane: I think, well, it's yet to be seen in some ways, because I don't think it's fully got traction by any means. But I think some of the things would be around, well, thinking systemically, thinking about the relationships between things, that nothing exists outside of relationships with other things, and people, also. But, as we think of ... Historically, we as designers did a lot of designing a thing, and now I think we need to think more about how that thing co-exists in the system. I think that is a life-centered way of thinking.

Also, looking for synergies and benefits, where one solution or say one client company needs to, or has the opportunity to create something that's more of a platform for others to engage in. Maybe more collaborative and less competitive in the way that we might approach things as design problems or design opportunities. I think maybe there would definitely be more emphasis on endurance and resilience in the face of change or in the face just of time, is a way to think more life centeredly. We're designing a lot more these days for the emergence of behaviors, so that when we deliver something, quite often we're delivering some sort of platform or some sort of system that will evolve over time, and that we don't know quite how it's going to play out.

I mean, in truth, we never did know how it was going to play out. But I think now we're actually designing more deliberately for things that will have a life of their own in the outside world, because people will engage with them in different ways, they'll grow, they'll change. All of those attributes and a consciousness of them, I think, are what would make a life-centered designer think differently. In some ways, I think maybe what I'm doing is describing systems designer. But where the life-centered design part comes in, for me, is that I think that life as a system is really inspirational.

When you start to learn about, "Oh yes, people used to think that juniper trees were being destroyed by the mistletoe that grows in them, that the mistletoe's a parasite and just takes, takes, takes. But then biologists have discovered that actually what's happening, is that the mistletoe's attracting birds to the tree, and while the birds they're eating the mistletoe, they're also picking up the juniper berries and they're spreading them around the world more effectively as part of a distribution, and so, in fact, it's symbiotic but we didn't actually know that because we had a frame around it being competitive. Doesn't that make you think about things that we've always assumed were competitive, might actually be ... What's the word? I just said it.

Nadia: Symbiotic?

Jane: Symbiotic, yes. Symbiotic.

Nadia: Thinking about symbiosis, the rise of circular design is really starting to take off. How can inspiration play a role in helping companies think about being more circular, both in the inputs and the design and the outputs back into the whole process?

Jane: I think there are lots of examples, in nature, that we can learn from that, are maybe more physical and literal, like the way that things compost. I mean, there are companies who are taking waste from one industry and using it to create their output and then passing that on to another company who uses it in some other way. I think those kinds of relationships of how things get transformed through time or through decay, are really powerful examples. I mean, they're powerful examples both metaphorically and physically, because we can look at the way material is structured as examples.

Looking at ways of achieving ends without toxicity, and the world is learning from adhesives that are used in nature ... though that nature uses, that we can apply as bonding methods, and manufacturer all of that kind of things happening. Because I'm not really that kind of a scientist. I guess I think about it quite a lot more from a metaphoric point of view. One of the things I learned from the biologist that I really loved, was about the way that old trees die, where he talks about the fact that we think of it as the tree going back to first principles of just becoming broken down.

But what he taught me was that, what a dying tree gives to the ecosystem around it is far more useful molecules than just basic ones. There are essential acids and material that's been processed already, that can be used. There's still an energy in it. It's not completely entropic, the dying tree is giving away IP in a way. The way I like to think is, as we think about things like destruction or failure or companies needing to, well, just stop trading or something, there's always value there that could be built on by somebody else bringing some new energy to it.

I just find things like that really inspirational ways of talking about some of the issues around the circular economy that are at a higher level, obviously, than the material science of it. But both, I think, relate.

Nadia: You're making me think of how Tesla gives away a lot of their IP and they're clearly in a state of abundance, but fueling the ecosystem at large, by being generous with their learning, in a way that a tree might give.

Jane: Yeah, that's perfect example. That actually is one of the examples that I use about the idea of reciprocity in nature. I mean, it isn't driven from kindness or ... and neither is in Tesla's case. There's a really good business case for empowering that whole industry to get bigger and grow the pie, as it were. In nature, I think, in life, organisms find this balance of intention between taking and giving, and I think that's a great model.

Nadia: Thinking of taking and giving, we're now in a world of so much data, able to take so much from people. I'm curious, when you're thinking about the future of design research and a research world where we have so much data now to play with, how do we continue to give back to people in a really meaningful way to support their life and them living their best lives?

Jane: Well, there's lots of that. Lost there, really. One, I think would be, as I think in the practice of design research as we've evolved it, we have more thought about it as a core discovery. I think that's going to ... I think we should be continuing to think about that, that as we're learning, we're learning together and sharing those insights, even in the moment or in the immediacy of it, and then staying true to the purpose of human-centered design, I think, or life-centered design, as in ensuring that we are using data science and the outputs ... I mean the systems that we create, that we're using them as an adjunct to expand human capacity rather than replace it.

We've been careful or choiceful in the way we've described the way we're applying data science here, not just as artificial intelligence, but augmenting intelligence, augmented intelligence, which is about human beings are intelligent and let's use our intelligence to help create data systems that augment our intelligence. I think that's really ... I think that's key to keep that at the center of what we're doing.

Nadia: Thinking about the future of design research as a field, where do you see this industry going?

Jane: It's hard for me to think about the field of design research without thinking about design, because I think about design researchers being basically one of the explorations that we need to do as designers in the world, to make sure that we're doing good stuff. It's part of design, just to frame that. Anyway, but having said that, I think some of the things that interest me about that are ensuring that we're, as we were talking about before, always not just assuming that we're going to interview people or get information from people or do surveys with people, but that we're continually, with our colleagues on a journey of discovery, using whatever tools we can get our hands on, or draw us forward.

I think some of the things about sensing and data are really interesting. They're used carefully, and with that idea of reciprocity that we talked about. I've been impressed by, as we're working on systems that are more touching lives of people that we have very little familiarity with, and that are in communities that we don't engage with through our own lived experience, of working with people who can act as design ambassadors in their own community, and how can we tap into that and empower them to help us learn in ways that we wouldn't be able to otherwise. I'm really interested in that building networks and practices that help other communities become maybe more able to engage with us in design.

Nadia: Where have you seen that in practice, of engaging communities in that way?

Jane: Oh, I know that's happening through some design projects, well, in ideo.org, who are working on poverty in countries where we really would find it difficult to get the level of understanding of what's going on in communities that people who live in those communities can help us do. I think in areas where we're thinking about equity of access to financial services or health services, we are beginning to explore some of those techniques.

Nadia: As a researcher who's brought so many new methods and tools into the world, what advice would you have for designers who are starting out, who are looking to bring new tools and methods to fruition?

Jane: I don't feel like I invented very much. I feel that maybe it was more about acquiring or applying things that other people were doing. That would be definitely a key idea, would be, what are other people doing exploring in other domains? I mean, it might be in biochemistry or certainly in anthropology or journalism or filmmaking or all sorts of different pursuits, where I think people are exploring human behavior, human potential, staying open to what's being learned about ways to learn in those domains. I think, stepping back a bit of …

I think I mentioned earlier, trying to step back and understand what is the nature of the challenge that we need to inform and inspire ourselves about, and starting a little bit from first principles as a team, thinking about how we might do that, and just trying new things. I think using our senses very broadly ... well, our senses, not just talking, not just listening, but looking and directly experiencing using our full sensory set. So directly our senses, and also our sixth senses, the things that we know that we know that we don't know how we know, those kinds of things. I'm interested in exploring more around that.

Then thinking about the world of data, I mean, I think about data as basically the sort of dust. I think it might've been [Colita Stafford 00:37:31] who said there's something about the dust that humans create. Data usually is coming from some mark that humans make, that we can't necessarily see directly. I like to think about the way that we use other forms of sensing and create a ... provide ourselves with new ways of seeing or new ways of understanding because we have been able to sense it beyond our own bodies.

Nadia: That mark that humans make almost sounds artistic in nature? Like an imprint people leave behind?

Jane: Well, I think it is, and I like to think about it that way because it sounds so mechanical otherwise. It sounds very inhuman, doesn't it? We think of it as inhuman, but I think it helps me a lot to think it's ... It's just like footprints or something else that we leave behind. I was hearing about how, apparently, we leave our microbes behind, those little microbes that we share our bodies with. We live them behind all over the place, so that forensically, people come into this room after we've left and they could identify exactly who was here and how long we'd stayed and how long we'd been gone, by virtue of the microbes we leave behind. Isn't that amazing?

Nadia: It seems to come full circle to life-centered design in that sense too.

Jane: It does, indeed.

Nadia: Well, thank you so much, Jane. It's been wonderful speaking to you today.

Jane: Thank you very much. I've enjoyed it a lot.

aryel cianflone