About In the Water Designs

Who We Are

In the Water Designs focuses on bringing the practices, methods, and tools of Human-Centered Design (also known as design-thinking)  into local churches, nonprofits and communities. Human-Centered Design is an interdisciplinary methodology used to attempt to solve problems that resist traditional solutions. Using methods and practices from other disciplines, including psychology, sociology, and business, Human-Centered Design can be used to better understand complex, messy problems by starting with how we understand people and their experience of a particular problem. This practice of understanding people more deeply has been applied in many very successful for-profit companies around the world, leading to greater innovation in many areas of our life.

At In the Water Designs, we focus on applying the methods of Human-Centered Design to the realm of spirituality and faith. Many spiritual communities and institutions are facing a crisis or see crisis on the horizon. By employing empathy, curiosity, and iterating our ideas, we can better understand the challenges faced by people in our community and design solutions that make sense for our context and the everyday needs of our community.

In the Water Designs believes that the future of faith and religion requires us to dive into the water, to abandon the ships we’ve sailed and find ourselves in open water, designing for the future on the horizon.

Meet Our Founder

Victoria Sun Esparza is the founder and CEO for In the Water Design, a consulting firm that specializes in design-thinking strategy for religious organizations and nonprofits. As a queer, Chinese-American, Victoria’s non-traditional background in ministry, theological education, and design-thinking gives her a unique perspective on the world and its problems. Her work aims to connect religious organizations and nonprofits to better tools for solving problems and meeting the needs of the people around them. Victoria holds a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Design and Innovation. When she’s not traveling, Victoria lives her life in Dallas, TX with her husband, Josh, and fox-like dog, Leila.