Process Statement: Person-Centered Design
I use the artistic process as a metaphor for the design of a meaningful
life and as a pragmatic tool for listening, visioning together, and
mapping the present and the future. Whether engaging in person-centered design or making a story quilt, the process unfolds in six steps, during which we successively co-initiate, co-sense and reflect, find a pattern, presence, co-create, and co-evolve.
This collaborative design process is the essence of Person-Centered Planning, in which I have worked for many years beside such pioneers as John O'Brien, Connie Lyle O’Brien, and others. The wisdom and process of this work is well documented in publications available from Inclusion Press. In deepening my understanding of these steps, I am also grateful for the teachings of Otto Scharmer,
including his Theory U (pictured schematically below right) which provides such a clear and universal framework for the process of creativity and change.
1. Co-Initiate: Explore a question; begin a journey. Commit
space, and energy to the creative process.
2. Co-Sense and Reflect: Listen with care; gather clues,
hunches, and symbols. Let inspiration and serendipity in.
3. Find a Pattern: See shapes and form in what wants to
4. Presence: Connect to sources of inspiration and will; make space for inner knowledge, symbols, archetypes, music, and words to emerge. Ask what we have learned and how wisdom has entered each of us through the journey. Express and share a vision with others.
5. Co-create: Fabricate and prototype images to express wisdom and hopes for emerging futures. Experiment and re-vision until the image emerges fully. Try things, seize possibilities, adapt to limitations.
6. Co-evolve: Enter public spaces; join with others to share and express the whole through story-telling. Bring our insights and images to light through performance, presentations, display, performance and media. Engage others in reflection, discovery, and response.