Realising Ecological Rhythms: Breath, Tides and COVID-19

This is an invitation to read my MA Dissertation in Ecological Design Thinking from Schumacher College. It offers insights for the challenging contexts we are all immersed in, both of the pandemic, ecological crisis & shifting understandings of the human relationship with nature.

The abstract is below and you are more than welcome to download the full book here

Figure 1: Celtic spiral of life, by author, June 2020


Natures design is carried by millions of ecological rhythms. Although rhythms are invisible humans and other-than-humans sense them through the seasons, behaviours, movements, patterns, elements, sounds, lights, colours, and forms. Scaling the macro…

We are an enthusiastic group of designers across the globe who care about the earth, issues of sustainability and climate change. The aim of Earth Centered Design is to examine the status quo to envision a just and sustainable future. We have been working on a manifesto for the last few months, it is now live in a beta version here. It calls any and all other designers to join us to be more earth-centered in our approach.

So far we have 150 in our community from 20 countries with 15–20 attending monthly video calls. …

Earth-Centered Design Manifesto (beta)


Being designers, we have a genuine and innate desire to do things better.

We are a global group of designers calling any and all other designers to join us to be more earth-centered in our approach. This means shifting our view from ‘human in the center’ to ‘earth in the center’ with Earth being a self-regulating complex ecosystem perpetuating the conditions for life. Humans and other species are an instrumental part of Earth but we have to become good at designing as nature.

The 7.7 billion humans are not separate from Earth and our work…

Our ecological crisis is becoming an increasingly essential topic, not just in the global media, but in schools and banks today. Internationally, our youth are striking for climate, the Extinction Rebellion are demonstrating across 33 countries, and the Governor of the Bank of England has warned of the “catastrophic impact” climate change could have on the financial system unless firms do more to disclose their vulnerabilities. It is clear that ecological consciousness is shifting from dormant to alert across the mainstream.

For many of us, there is a professional and personal desire to understand the facts and create a shift…

Balance art by: Adrian Gray

As a Service Designer, I’m at your service. Literally. ‘To serve’ or ‘to be of service’ is a fulfilling act for many in life. Service Designers can often become too obsessed with the design part and forget about the service part. But how do we define service? And how do we keep ourselves in balance when designing, providing and receiving service?

According to the Oxford dictionary, service is: The act of helping or doing work for someone, or a system meeting a public need such as transportation or utilities.

Service is a focus on human interaction. In extreme cases, some…

In the past, if you mentioned the term ‘spirituality’ in a corporate or business meeting, many of your colleagues or clients might think you were whacky. The term ‘spirituality’ is a loaded one in a business setting, bringing forth images of self-indulgent people, crystals, or chanting around candles. But if you examine spirituality on a deeper level, it’s actually a broad concept with many perspectives.

On a personal note, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, generally involving a search for meaning in life. Spirituality is about taking an introspective look to try and see things…

Dying is one of life’s greatest mysteries

It’s an unpleasant topic, one our Western culture infrequently considers because it can be so unexpected and challenges us on an existential level. The idea of planning our own death is often the furthest thing from our minds — it’s too morbid to even think about. But it is a necessary conversation to have because we will all die one day. And it is our loved ones that are left with the burden of handling our death wishes during a time of grieving.

Things to Consider:
Have you considered your own death wishes? …

Since its beginning three years ago, Harmonesse has been working to create innovative solutions for organizations using Service Design. With 15 years in the industry, we’ve harnessed our insights, creating a new message called ‘The Power of Caring’ — focusing on empathy at the heart of the human experience and seeing the effect ripple through users, service providers, and leadership. With this intention, Harmonesse is currently working on projects with a significant focus on services that challenge people — such as managing custodial criminal systems and becoming ‘death’ wise when notifying the government on the death of a loved one.

I’ve found myself become a ‘Go-to’ person for advice on Service Design in Vancouver.

Here are some tips for people moving to the West Coast of Canada (specifically Vancouver), graduating, or seeking to make connections and build projects in Service Design, Customer Experience and Innovation. I offer a personal perspective:

The bad news: the reality is that there isn’t a big currency in strategy or an appetite for radical innovation in this city. I’ve had to travel a lot.

Of course this is all relative to where you have come from. For me London, UK presented many more opportunities so…

Tamsin Smith

Ecological Systems & Service Designer. Hopes for a just regenerative future. Elevating consciousnesses, restoring trauma for harmony & wholeness. Non dualist :)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store