About Melis

About Melis

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I am here to support the world creators.

When I use those words, world creators, I’m speaking to those of you who are busy designing the next service, policy, organisation, product or system.

Whether you identify as a designer or not, if you are responsible for making decisions that change the way others experience their world, you are creating it.

How you show up in that work. matters.

Who you are in that work, matters.

Every action, by every person, creates our world.

My work focuses on helping people hone the character that helps them design with confidence, clarity and potency.

Work

I have spent my entire adult life fascinated by the human condition. At first I thought I wanted to understand it and thought I could be studying the Brain. So I specialised in neuroscience and spent time in brain research where I published a few papers on brain imaging.

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It was very apparent very early that looking at the brain, and trying to make sense of the brain, using my brain felt like I was really never going to get at the question. How can you fully grasp the brain when that’s what you’re using to grasp. Anyway, you can see it still bothers me.

It was very apparent very early that looking at the brain, and trying to make sense of the brain, using my brain felt like I was really never going to get at the question. How can you fully grasp the brain when that’s what you’re using to grasp. Anyway, you can see it still bothers me.

So a perspective shift was required which is what created the opportunity to do my PhD in Human Factors with the Defence Dept. I was looking at situational awareness in fighter pilots, and designing auditory displays to lower their visual workload. Sounds like a mouthful I know, but it is then that I realised I was more interested in designing for the human condition rather than analysing and describing it.

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And since then, for the last 20 years, that is what I’ve been doing. In all levels of government, with all sizes of business and all sectors of enterprise.

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Huddle was created in 2009 to help organisations understand the importance of caring about the human experience of their products, services and systems, both inside and outside their organisations.

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Huddle Academy then came along to help share what we had built within Huddle with the world. To create more and more organisation who understand why caring about the experience of others helps their business and brand and creates positive outcomes for many people. The ripple is huge.

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And to keep the ripple going, I wrote This Human, which you would already know about because you’re here. And as I type this, I’m working on Book 2 in the This Human series. While the first book was all about the foundations of a meaning design practice, Book 2 is about Design Character only. It’s part text, part workbook. Stay tuned for more.

Research

I always have an active body of research and currently it is about exploring a new tradition of design called therapeutic design. My question is, how might design practice change if we were to take a stance of healing rather than problem solving?

Many of the design traditions that inform human centred design come from industrial design, communication design or architecture. All are focussed on creating something that addresses a need.

  • What would a design process look like that was more akin to therapeutic models?
  • How might this tradition of design be applied to healing organisations, nations or the planet?

Stay tuned on this as well, it is a work in progress in collaboration with Professor Ingo Karpen.

Study and Learning

As part of my unique experience of life and my ongoing thirst for diving deeper into the what it means to be a person, this year I’m embarking on my next field of expertise. I have become increasingly interested in embodiment and embodied knowledge.

I’m studying soul-centred psychotherapy with the founder of this unique practice, 1:1 in a beautiful master/apprentice setting which is expansive, challenging and so so rewarding.

I am also starting my training as a Hakomi body-centred psychotherapist which will be a three year endeavour.

Just like my studies into Feng Shui a few years ago, all of this exploration and learning deepens my understanding of people and how to design for them and how to be the person designing with others.

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