Jumping Fish

The following are some retrospective notes from my time in Riku Nagasaki's class at KIT in 2022.

Jumping fish is a design methodology that draws on speculative design, design thinking and inclusive design methodologies, sitting somewhere between them.

The name 'jumping fish' refers to an individual or group of people who is satisfying a need of theirs in an unusual way. An example given by Riku is the Japanese practice of placing your food waste in the freezer, so it doesn't smell.

They are 'jumping' out of the conventional approaches to problem solving. This makes them a good candidate for becoming an active participant in the design process, as they have strong intent.

Although the process starts with a jumping fish addressing an immediate need, next it's important to go beyond this immediate need to find an underlying demand. What are the conditions that have created this need? A push is needed to go beyond designing a short-term solution to the need, to redefining the conditions so the need doesn't need solving down-stream.

Now, iteratively prototype to solve for this underlying demand. Continuously evaluate to ensure the prototype is not just a quick fix.


  • Riku Nagasaki - Lectures at Kyoto Institute of Technology (Summer 2022)
  • Last update: 2022-08-03 16:35