This blog article tells the story of using a 5-year old card deck for a rather unusual design challenge — the one of mastering one’s own life or aspects thereof. Therefore, I shall describe the Design for Happiness Deck first, then the Design Therapy approach and lastly its experimental combination by applying the deck for life design.

The Design for Happiness Deck

Anyone who is unfamiliar with the Delft Institute of Positive Design in North Holland of the Netherlands, may benefit from a brief virtual tour. …


With such a “big word” headline including Life and Space and all, you have to hear the following first thing: Yes, you are able to design your life in order to increase those three things. By the end of today, you are able to feel a notable difference in these three areas. Let’s start with breath in a moment.

The same is not true, however, for say, musical skills. Imagine the title “Design Your Life for Musical Pieces by Mozart, Beethoven & Chopin.” …


Brit Louise Downe nailed it by defining with 15 principles what good design service is. This came in handy for me, as I was redesigning systemic therapy to make it reflect what I believe in. Instead of being reassured with “trust the design process” to lead to a good service outcome, she gives a list of easy to understand characteristics.

First Things First: What is Service Design?

Service Design in itself is the activity of planning and connecting people, the layout and communication of a service to improve a certain interaction between a service provider and its users. Take for example shipping a letter by mail to…


The ambitious subject of shaping your life while following nature’s principles — swallow. Are you ready to explore this for a moment? Alternatively, you could turn around and shape your abdominal muscles through physical exercise. That’s more concrete. No judgment.

For those that stick around, let’s say life at large is made up of many mini moments. Perhaps the here and now, the IS is the best seizable unit to affect. You breathe, you live, you feel and think, you interpret. It is so crucial what you attend to or automate and also what you automated and then attend to…


For the duration of one month, I am sharing bite-sized daily hacks on Instagram Stories. They are illustrating my combination of systemic intervention and design thinking/doing. They are teasers with a low threshold so that you and your friend can connect with me and ask for more.

More in that case is then design coaching and coaching for couples. It is designerly therapy, too. It is looking forward with a can-do attitude for prevention rather than addressing the traditional mental health categories with talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and problem-oriented approaches alone. …


Recently, when I walked the block with my 7-year old daughter, she shared so insightfully with me: “Why is your work all these long words? Like #@#^%logy and such?” I smirked and tried it again. I think she had referred to “Psychology”, “Psychotherapy”, “Design Thinking” and all those 3+ syllable words.

And my daughter, whom we named “Pixel” by middle name, embodies our love for the basic building blocks in life and also for optimistic view of tech and design. …


The much sought after increase of creativity at work may or may not be reduced to the punch line above. Similar to the quest for happiness, creativity is hardly anything you can buy at an art supply store or for an executive fee alone from consultants.

Both happiness and creativity are complex topics that manifest in very real experiences though. Happiness is so poignantly described in the below comic as an “inside job”. It is an experience of feeling at ease and positive as a result of a mystical personal pursuit of meaningful activities, if you ask me.

Creativity, however…


“Did you know that …-” is still a conversational offer that requires tremendous human processing power. I cannot foresee how artificial intelligence could ever outplay human beings in this regard. It is a seemingly simple offer on behalf of the speaker for another person. It is a customized piece of information that hinges on the nuances of the relationship, the situation and — most importantly — on the theory of mind that the speaker developed about the other given at that moment. What do you, the reader, know about “knowledge sharing”? I should have asked before writing this…

Of course…


The majority of women are socialized and raised to care more about caring than their male counterparts. They grow up with more cuddles than boys, cook more thereby nurture more, practice baby care with dolls and homemaking with dollhouses. Take a look at advertisements for children’s toys, pop open the first random 10 books you grab from a bookshelf in a children’s room, or take a moment and reflect back on your upbringing. Do you recall baby dolls, stuffed animals, and barbies? Do you remember your body being held and comforted more as in “It’s okay to cry”? …


Emotion’s “Working Women” magazine held up by Pausenkicker Lena Wittneben

In the summer of 2017, I was browsing through a German women’s magazine in a cozy Hamburg café. I was struck by the messages and the impact they had on me. Being the biased and empathizing human that I am, I generalized this for fellow fempreneurs and working moms in the homezone and at the front line. I was thinking out loud, “I am missing raw stories about working mothers in the middle range…”

During the same time, I relocated from Sunny California to Rainy Northern Europe and had the opportunity to rethink the direction of my professional work. I…

PixelStoryStudio

Passionate about people in systems & their communication in Focused on crafting inclusive workplace processes for growing companies in Germany & the US.

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