Work: Design Thinking in Phnom Penh


DK is a design thinking consultancy based in Phnom Penh.

Heads of organizations and businesses engage DK so that they can improve on the work they do.

  • Together, we look at big questions,
  • The kind of questions that invite thoughtful engagement, room for new perspectives, and emergence of innovative ideas, too.
  • Note: How, exactly, DK set the stage for this will, very often, challenge the status quo. More on that below. But first, !*…

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!* is for Fun. It has to be fun. Remarkable connexion doesn’t have to be hard to make happen. We can design for it. How? Through the simple act of hosting sessions in ways that are inviting, engaging, and light. Workshops, salons, installations that juxtapose people and ideas, plus low-key get-togethers are how we have been practicing, here at DK, over the years since we started in Seattle in 2004 as an LLC. In 2015, we started the international salon series 16N. Why? A fast, light way to engage with people. And have fun, too. And discovery. And… going to the edge of the ‘bounded box’ which is the box of us here at DK, just a small team, and looking for new people to connect with, in a new way. And… more.

BIGTALK. Not everyone is on for this kind of a journey. Truthfully, making more time and space for ‘let’s do this better?’ requires firstly admitting that there is a gap between where we are and where we could be. In a world that rewards narcissism and beats down ideas that come from humbler sources (due to so many things), we can’t really do ‘better’ if we’re not open, can we? So yeah. Here at DK we are at work to gather people in circles, of all kinds. SN called this ‘circle time.’ Which really fits. But it’s very decidedly about moving towards a better mode of operating, not the other kind of circle times (pre-school, work, family, etc. We are on purpose asking people to meet with those whom they normally wouldn’t sit down and talk to. Which opens everyone’s eyes to new modes of thinking, perspectives, and of course the serendipity that we must have in order to build towards better, and more progressive, ideas. We’re all in this together, right?) Over the last 10 years, through our conversations we have seen people take actions that are astonishing: changing their entire company focus, selling warehousefuls of equipment, discovering that they want to open a different line of products, leaving their jobs, and even opting out of their marriages. Like we said, not for everyone. But if you are interested in taking a good look at yourself, the work you do, and why it matters, then you can talk to us. Consulting for people who are interested in that, but also, check out our current programme offerings, some of which are self-guided. Whether for work or play, DK are making room for people who might not have otherwise crossed paths to see and be seen, hear and be heard, in a way that’s often described as ‘honest’ and ‘refreshing.’

Do what you do better. Challenge yourself to ‘N+1’ it. Ready to take a test drive? Open the box to get started with a four-week free trial of S P A C E.


Start Atelier S P A C E


‘Let’s make this better.’

OUT HERE, out of the box.
That’s where we are now.

‘Let’s make space.’

For a time, we invite you let go of thinking that stifles.
(Stuff like: ‘But we’ve always done it like X.’)

Let’s try something different. ‘Forget it. For now. Beginner’s mind. Cool?
To start, let’s forego mores.’ ‘Let’s discover “the edge,” wherever that is for you.’ Now, we’re ready. Whispering, now.
This: ‘And then, let’s break the bounds.’

Out of the box isn’t just a cliche.
It’s vastly important.
Out there, out …here



The big work

DK call this work of arrival ‘N+1.’
After 12 years’ explorations with clients
in N. America, Europe and Asia,
we have learned something about how to do this well.

How to make space.
How to frame the bounded box.
How to engage with you and others, people from all approaches,
in ways that let us each see and be seen,
Hear and be heard.

A zen master once said, if we become too serious, we will lose our way.

‘Let’s play…’

Engage with DK. Meet new and different others.
Discover our online programmes and invite-only special events.

In S P A C E.

You see somebody who insulted you yesterday. Immediately all your hackles are up, you become nervous or anxious, you begin to dislike; be aware of your dislike, be aware of all that, do not `decide’ to be aware. Observe, and in that observation there is neither the `observer’ nor the `observed’ – there is only observation taking place. The `observer’ exists only when you accumulate in the observation; when you say, `He is my friend because he has flattered me’, or, `He is not my friend, because he has said something ugly about me, or something true which I do not like,. That is accumulation through observation and that accumulation is the observer. When you observe without accumulation, then there is no judgement. You can do this all the time; in that observation naturally certain definite decisions are natural results, not decisions made by the observer who has accumulated. —J. Krishnamurthi

N + !*