Human Centered (often referred to as "User Centered") is a core tenet of the current design process at the d.school. By "Human Centered" we mean that our design process is grounded in responding to human needs and user feedback. Throughout the design cycle (from inspiration to validation), we seek to engage with the people who will be affected by our designs so we may develop empathy for them that will inspire & guide our designs.
We believe that the best innovations arise out of a thoughtful response to stimuli that we as designers are exposed to in the world. Thus, the methods we use to seek out inspiration and to test our ideas and the activities and people that we expose ourselves to are very important. Rather than being focus on technology as a driver for innovation, we believe that people should provide the inspiration and direction for our ideas. The people who will be affected by our work and the people who are experiencing analogous situations to the ones we are working on, are the most important people to engage and stay close to.