James Barton

With a background in design and strategy, James works to frame deep insights in ways that help designers and planners make clear decisions. He has explored a wide range of human experiences, from families at the circus to teenage DJs to off-roading thrill seekers. In hundreds of interviews covering most of the 50 states and five countries, James has explored questions ranging from deep personal identity to complex service processes.

His explorations have included: the meaning of thoughtful communication in the age of constant digital exchanges, conflicted feelings about advances in vehicle safety, the connection to personal identity for multiple vehicle brands, and how technology can support aspiring creative identities.

In service design, Jim has looked at: new models of decentralized healthcare, upscale fast casual dining, on-the-ground delivery of social service programs, and numerous high price tag retail experiences.

James holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Chicago and an MA in design research from the IIT Institute of Design. He has a penchant for nicknaming pivotal diagrams after junk foods, with past successes including ‘Candy Corn,’ ‘The Gobstopper,’ and ‘The Double Cheetos.’