Creating "How Might We" Questions

“How might we share the story of The Brooks Design Lab in a way that provides real resources and tools to our readers?”

That’s the question that prompted our blog series on The Brooks Design Lab, and today we’re sharing with you how a similarly designed question could be the missing piece to your problem-solving and innovation journey.

A “How Might We” (HMW) question is a purposeful question that seeks solutions. It can be designed to initiate problem-solving and identify who to interview and what to learn, or it can be created from insights that have been developed from data and interviews from the community. Defining a “How Might We” question allows us to articulate the problem we want to work on and the impact we want to have. These questions help us move away from “can we?” or “should we?” and instead open our minds to the all the possibilities before us.

Some example HMW statements:

  • “HMW… increase connections for seniors living on their own?”
  • “HMW… design interventions that de-escalate public displays of racist behaviour?”
  • “HMW… foster meaningful relationships and experiences for people with disabilities?”

“How Might We” questions can be used as the basis of brainstorming sessions, creating a common goal with collaborators and partners, and even strategic planning within an organization.

In The Brooks Design Lab, we have created HMW statements from the insights we drafted in the last couple sessions. The questions we are exploring are:

  • Team 1: How might we find, engage, and celebrate the foundations of our diverse community?
  • Team 2: How might we help residents strike a balance between honouring traditions and being comfortable with a changing & evolving community?
  • Team 3: How might we create opportunities for connection?

We have started ideation and will continue to create innovative answers to these questions in our session next week! Stay tuned to learn more about ideation and some strategies to use in your own problem-solving.

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