We explore the human drivers and perspectives behind complex challenges. We believe that collaborative design research techniques are the most honest and effective way to map, understand and solve these challenges. Have a wicked problem? Bring it on.

At Tacit Design Strategy we apply human-centred design techniques to uncover tacit knowledge held by your stakeholders. Tacit knowledge refers to things we know, but cannot easily articulate. So while traditional focus groups, or interview techniques, are the industry norm in gaining important user information, they may only access information that is revealed by the questions an interviewer knows to ask. Our collaborative design processes can reveal deep-seated assumptions and beliefs that one might not learn otherwise.


Jonathan Aitken has a passion for unraveling complex problems and designing creative solutions that help effect real change. Jonathan's education in Communication and Industrial Design help bring an interdisciplinary focus to his work, and his creative solutions include interaction, industrial, and communication design. His first business, Pages Design, was one of the first digital design studios in Toronto in the 1980s, offering print and web-based solutions to a range of clients' communication problems. Not satisfied with the depth of work in a commercial studio, he switched to academia in 2003 where he established a design research practice at Ryerson University. In 2010 he joined the faculty at Emily Carr University and in 2012 signed on as Director of their Health Design Lab, a human-centred design research centre looking at some of the most complex problems in healthcare. Aitken is now excited to have established Tacit Design Strategy, offering his own unique blend of co-creative and participatory design research practices to a broad base of clients.


The Potential of New Technologies to Radically Change the Face of Healthcare: FUEL Conference on Design, May, 2014

Promotional video for the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr, 2011

Taming Wicked Problems: A Grand Rounds presentation at CUNY, November 2016

Interview on Design Thinking by Current Magazine, 2013
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