In Winter 2017, at Stanford we are offering a new class: Ritual Design for Organizational Change.

Rituals have a special power to bring people together and give them a sense of purpose, values, and meaning. Especially in the realms of sports, politics, and religion, rituals unite people and bring out deep emotions.

How can we harness this power of rituals in other kinds of organizations? In this pop-out we will design new rituals for a company, to explore how design methods and creative improvisation can help us craft more meaningful culture.

Students will work in teams to rapidly prototype new rituals for our partner company, and they will learn video storytelling techniques to capture their designs. We welcome students who are interested in how to create stronger cultures in their own orgs and companies, and who want to explore humorous, strange, magical, and curious ways to do so.

We were pleased to offer 2 separate sessions of our class Ritual Design: Designing Meaning into Everyday Experiences at Stanford this February 2015.

Our daily lives are full of routines that give us comfort and stability, but also, can make us feel stagnated and bored. In this class, we will play with daily routines to see how to make them into meaningful delightful experiences. Meaningfulness could mean changing your behavior, building strong connections to people around you, connecting to your spirituality and higher values, or just creating a memorable time for yourself.

We will use rituals as our framework to design rich experiences around four everyday themes: food, grooming, productivity, and commuting. We will take existing routines, discover new meaning(s), and infuse ritual moments. Each student will develop and create their own ritual product, or service.

While building on the entire design process, in this class the focus will be on developing strong definition and ideation skills and using advanced tools such as experience/user journey mapping, abstract laddering and storyboarding. This class is for you if you are already comfortable with the design process but want to advance in crafting more nuanced design concepts.

Survey for Class Participants

>> Sorry, this survey is closed. The two sections of the class are full! <<<

Comments 4

  1. … what a wonderfull concept! i’m visiting professor for service design studies development at south valley university/faculty fine arts luxor [egypt] and would like to contact, cooperate with ‘ritual design lab’ – how can i do that? who is the contact person?
    egypt’s ancient history is inspiring for designing contemporary rituals

  2. Hi Team,

    I’m Veena, a new graduate from California College of the Arts majoring in Design. I’m pretty interested in Ritualizing mundane tasks. And I did do my thesis project on how to conquer to mundane tasks through creating secular rituals around it. Please do check my project brief and secular ritual kits for three different mundane tasks. I did design a ritual technique with interesting task-specified kits to help my users achieve a mundane task. It’s an interesting area to explore human behavior and understand how effective rituals could turn into.

    Right now, I am looking to work on any side projects, please do contact me if you have any openings in UX Design or as an apprenticeship in your workshops, I would love to contribute my learnings and thoughts and be part of Ritual design Lab.

  3. Greetings Margaret,

    I’d love to introduce the art of ritual making into the global “Conscious Dance” community.

    Each dance generates a field of coherent energy that can be translated by ritual into a planetary resource.
    I’m imagining a website that invites people to craft their own embodied ritual, using the collective energy of any dance to empower the vision of a world that works for all life. It might present some of the science around brain entrainment and synchronization to music. A few simple suggestions to begin exploring the application of personal ritual applied to collective energy. A forum to learn what other ritual practitioners are doing. So many dance facilitators would love to support such a project.

    Would you be open to explore this?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

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