Humanising Autonomy

ustwo’s Auto division launched in 2014 with a thought-piece rethinking the in-car cluster that had remained unchallenged for years. Soon after, the team published their first book under pillar, exploring the topic in more depth. I joined the team of writers and researchers for the follow-up book which explored how to keep human-centered design at the heart of the next generation of vehichle design


A printed copy of the book. A fun fact, the team flew to San Francisco to present our work at Apple and Google, proudly presenting Jony Ive with a personal copy

Where are we going?

So often with emerging technologies we see a race to launch quickly. This can breed innovation but can also compromise on the humanity of outcomes. With something as pivotal as the advent of autonomous vehichles, we wanted to explore how we could approach the monumental opportunity in a way that would not only keep humans at the heart of design, but would allow us to solve future-facing problems. The book covers a broad range of considerations and stimulus that delve into ways in which this can be done.

The intersection of passion and strategic opportunity

ustwo Auto is an inspiring success story of how various studio members compounded their interest in an emerging space and drove early research which naturally grew into a pillar for the studio, who has 10s of auto clients under their belt to date. Around the time that this work was kicking off, I had begun researching a thought piece on a topic I’d been calling holistic problem solving; the suggestion that problems are opportunities to solve bigger picture issues that will otherwise swell down the line. The design of cities being centered around the car, and how this might change in the future was a beautifully aligned opportunity for me to apply my thinking to the auto sector.

This natural overlap in resulted in my writing of a chapter entitled “How can we design for the bigger picture”, diving into the short term opportunities as well as more significant and longer term societal opportunities.


A post for ustwo’s blog covering my research and debate

Walking the talk… talking the walk?

Upon the completion of my chapter, I began socialising the concept of holistic problem solving as a way to meet potential change-makers in other sectors. As part of this tour, I was invited to debate at the London Transport Museum. Carrying the concept forward, I spoke at several conferences, including the Future London Academy UX & Product week hosted at Google’s headquarters in King’s Cross