top of page

Human-Centered Design for Deathcare

A self-paced course on collaborative problem solving

Created by Isabel Knight,
Founder of The Death Designer

"We get set in our ways of doing, being, and thinking. This course gives you tools to step outside of that."

is this course for me?

Are you a deathcare professional like a death doula, funeral director, funeral celebrant,  cremationist, cemeterian, etc., or  are you working in a death-adjacent field?

Are you a community deathcare educator and advocate looking for ways to support your community via collaborative problem solving? 

Do you appreciate collaborative processes?

Would you like to learn structured tools for finding creative solutions to problems?

Would it be helpful to have actionable ways to solicit feedback from and engage clients, referral partners, and others in your circle?

Are you interested in facilitating workshops with groups?

Are you ready to:

  • help people think about things in different ways?

  • come up with creative ways to demonstrate the value of your services?

  • identify industry entry points for referral generation?

  • engage with people the way that they want and need to engage?

  • find and foster relationships with the people in your community willing to solve problems with you?

If this describes you, then YES! This course is for YOU!

what is human-centered design?

Human-centered design is an approach to problem-solving that, as its name suggests, puts people (rather than the designer) at the center. It helps groups come together to innovate through a process of divergence, convergence and iteration. 

  • divergence: expanding your thinking to generate a wide range of abstract and abundant possibilities

  • convergence: narrowing your focus to select and evaluate the most promising ideas

  • iteration: the repetition of a process, typically as a means of getting closer and closer to the solution of a problem


The cornerstones of human-centered design are:

1) not assuming that you know what the root cause of a problem is, and

2) not assuming that you know the solution

The methods used in human-centered design seek to solve something known as the caucus problemMost decisions are made by sitting around a table talking about the problem. A caucus model systematically disadvantages people who take longer to think of what they want to say. Collaborative problem solving goes beyond just talking about it.

what will i learn?

"Having multiple tools to choose from helps you

help others think about things in a different way"

how does it work?

This is a self-paced multimedia e-course. You will have lifetime access to the content. Students who wish to connect with others taking the course have access to a private Slack channel, where they can ask questions about how people have used the methods taught in the course, request 1:1 support, or simply talk about the material. 

how is this course different from others?

This course truly is one of a kindThere's a wide variety of training out there for deathcare professionals but you won't find another training quite like this. When Isabel entered the world of death and dying, her background in human-centered design informed her approach to deathcare. The tools she's equipped with have great value in terms of how she interacts with colleagues, clients, and organizations. She is passing this value on to fellow deathcare professionals so that they can add value to their communities, in turn. This is her legacy project. 

Screen Shot 2023-09-17 at 9.36.44 AM.png

Annie Wilson, Sunset Companions

Human-Centered Design for Deathcare is a course that is jam-packed with tried-and-true methods for putting humans at the center of deathcare. From goal-setting, to research methods, to group brainstorming, this course has something for everyone in all corners of the deathcare field. It is a course that provides real tools for deathcare professionals to navigate the perils of the deathcare industry under capitalism. I cannot wait to try these methods out at Sunset Companions.

Screen Shot 2023-09-17 at

Narinder Bazen, Nine Keys Death Midwifery 

Isabel Knight, this Human-Centered Design for Deathcare is profoundly needed. As I was reading through the course materials I could overlay so much of the material to the needs I have witnessed in the holistic death care movement (death doulas, home funeral guides, etc) for the past few years. I have trained almost 70 death midwives through my very intimate death midwifery apprenticeship. Because I have guided so many death workers, I know the obstacles (emotional, financial, societal) that they are up against. This course you’ve created gives us a map around those obstacles. Excellent work, Isabel.

Screen Shot 2023-09-17 at 9.39.32 AM.png

Ben Weinberg, Founder of Encircle Grief

Isabel's approach to teaching is both engaging and enlightening, balancing the perfect mix of theory, practical application, and humor. I learned a ton of new concepts that I wasn't familiar with before, even though I've been working in tech for 5+ years. With lots of great articles and resources included contextually in the course, I was able to dive deeper on methods that were especially interesting. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's looking to solve the right problems and get to better solutions more quickly, even if you've already been exposed to Human-Centered Design concepts in the past!

"Learning these methods prepares you to enter a variety of

situations equipped with new ways to examine and evaluate." 

about the instructor

Isabel Knight, founder and CEO of The Death Designer, is an avid ultimate frisbee player and podcaster. For most of her professional career she's worked as an instructional designer creating online courses. She received her Certification as a Human-Centered Design Practitioner from the Luma Institute in 2018, and trained as an end of life doula with INELDA. She currently serves as the president on the board of directors at the National Home Funeral Alliance. 

Grow Your Vision

Course registration is $500.00 for lifetime access to the content, a community Slack group, 1:1 support, and the ability to partner with Isabel to host human-centered design workshops. 

bottom of page