• Who Becomes an Inventor in America?

    The Atlantic | 4 December 2017

    Children from many different backgrounds excel in math and science tests in third grade, for instance. But it’s the wealthy children who do well in math and science that end up getting patents. Why? Because they have more exposure to innovation in their childhood, the researchers say. This exposure comes mostly from interacting with people who are themselves inventors. If young kids know people who are inventors, or hear conversations at the dinner table about research and innovation, they’re more likely to become interested in pursuing careers in that field. Policies that increase exposure to innovation in childhood could go a long way in stimulating economic growth.

    Read Full Article

  • Simple Solutions

    TED Radio Hour | 17 November 2017

    When designer Mileha Soneji’s uncle got Parkinson’s, his quality of life deteriorated rapidly. Mileha couldn’t cure her uncle’s disease, so she used deep empathy and rapid prototyping—hallmarks of design thinking—to design simple ways to improve his everyday life.

    Read a Transcript or Listen Here

  • How Design Thinking Is Improving Patient-Caregiver Conversations

    Harvard Business Review. 3 November 2017

    By Dirk Deichmann and Roel van der Heijde

    At Rotterdam Eye Hospital, hospital administrators have found that through their ongoing design-thinking program, low-tech measures can improve health care. Building a more intuitive website, replacing harsh fluorescent lighting and cold linoleum floors with softer lighting and wood parquet, and giving children and pediatric ophthalmologists matching T-shirts have reduced patient fears. Addressing patients’ fears is important because fear can make an eye operation difficult or even impossible. The design-thinking team trained hospital staff to look for the distinctive set of verbal and nonverbal cues and then respond appropriately. This program differs from conventional design-thinking work in that its positive impact goes well beyond “the customer” — have also improved how the staff members work with each other.

    Read Full Article

  • I Used Design Thinking To Reinvent My Career—Here’s Why It Worked

    Fast Company. 16 October 2017

    By Paula Davis-Laack

    Design thinking is a great tool for getting unstuck from problems that may seem intractable–including when you hit a career plateau. Here’s how I used the process to carve out a new career path I didn’t even know existed, and why it helped me identify a new career path (and save lots of time, money, and frustration in the process).

    Read Full Article

  • The Finnish Experiment

    99% Invisible – Episode 276. 19 September 2017

    Finland is trying out a unique, design-oriented way of thinking about government. Rather than rolling out laws on a massive scale, they are trying to craft legislation in stages, with user feedback, just as one would create a piece of design.

    Listen to Podcast

  • Can Design Thinking Redesign Higher Ed?

    The Chronicle of Higher Education. 10 September 2017

    By Lee Gardner

    The promise of innovation on tap has drawn a growing number of professors and college administrators to design thinking. Some see it as a way to better engage a new generation of students. Some see it as a tool to bring fresh thinking to colleges bound by tradition and inertia but operating in an increasingly volatile landscape. The more skeptical see it as yet another corporate-culture fad infiltrating academe and taking up time and energy that could be spent on the mission. The interest in design thinking at colleges, and the uncertainty about it, led to my standing with notebook in hand on Stanford’s sunny quad. The d.school invited The Chronicle to embed a reporter as a participant in a Teaching and Learning Studio, one of a handful of workshops offered throughout the year specifically to teach design thinking to college personnel. Hours into the first day, the workshop’s team of instructors shooed us outside to conduct empathy interviews. Establishing empathy with potential users is the critical first of five key steps in the design-thinking process..

    Read Full Article

  • Drone Thinking Initiative Heads to St. Catherine’s Island

    Smith College – Spatial Analysis Lab. 8 May 2017

    Video By Kate Lee

    In the Spring of 2016 the Smith College Drone Thinking Initiative was founded, evolving from a student project that began in the IDP 316 Design Thinking Studio course taught by Zaza Kabayadondo. This year, members of the initiative traveled to the St. Catherines Island. Working with Aliya Pandolfi and the Sea Turtle Conservancy, the purpose of the trip was to use drones to map and track sea turtle nesting sites. These students are pioneering the use of drones in service of wildlife conservation efforts. Further detail on the initiative can be found at smithiesdesign.com and at science.smith.edu.

    Watch Video

  • How learning empathy can help build better community projects in Africa

    The Conversation. 11 April 2017

    By Keneliwe Munyai

    How do you teach empathy? How can it be cultivated in students who will become leaders in future? And could it be done in a way that foregrounds ancient, indigenous knowledge and practices which might have been sidelined by colonialism? Keneliwe Munyai thinks there are two types of empathy in design thinking–emotional and cognitive–and both can be used to inform organizations such as Unicef on how to develop community projects.

    Read Full Article

  • How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School

    The Atlantic. 4 January 2017

    By Jessica Lahey

    At a recent teaching conference in Richmond, Virginia, a session on “design thinking” in education drew a capacity crowd. Two middle-school teachers demonstrated how they had used the concept to plan and execute an urban-design project in which students were asked to develop a hypothetical city or town given factors such as population, geography, the environment, and financial resources. The teachers in the audience were enchanted by the details of the project; and if the photographs in the presentation were any indication, the students who participated in the lesson enjoyed it, too. The presenting teachers were bubbling over with enthusiasm for what they saw as the potential inherent in teaching design thinking.

    Read Full Article

  • Knight Foundation – Community Information Lab

    Knight Foundation. 13 February 2017

    The Knight Foundation is sponsoring long-term design thinking projects to encourage place-based funders to take a leadership role in meeting local information needs. What kind of local news and information were people receiving – and missing? What gaps needed to be filled? In the past, the Knight Foundation has provided $22 million to 88 foundations addressing these issues with a range of projects from digital literacy campaigns to support for the first generation of local nonprofit news sites, and more. Be on the look out for the next round of applications.

    Read More

  • Using Design Principles To Reshape Local Government

    Fast Company. 9 February 2017

    By Katharine Schwab

    A significant challenge for much local government is understanding what constituents want and need. The top-down approach that many agencies employ can create a disconnect between services and who’s being served.

    Read Full Article

  • MathStudio at Smith College

    Spike – Issue 50, Winter 2017

    By Dominikus Müller

    Pau Atela is a recent recipient of the Design Thinking Initiative’s Curricular Enhancement Grant. His work was recently featured in Spike Magazine. In the piece, author Dominikus Muller states of Atela’s studio, “In this space, students are not allowed to wear socks and invited to think through moving and manipulating materials. He allows his life experiences and street discoveries to enter into this space, stimulating students to with the idea that mathematics happens naturally and humanely.” Atela’s Spring 2016 Art/Math Studio course at Smith College provided students the opportunity to actively engage in the design and fabrication of mathematical models while also partaking in the exploration of an individual theme through a studio art practice.

    Purchase Spike Issue #50 Here

  • Fun With Drones: Students Learn Basics of Remote-Controlled Flight

    Grecourt Gate – Smith College. 27 January 2017

    Spatial Analysis Lab Director Jon Caris enlisted the help of Design Thinking Initiative student Alex Widstrand in designing the 2017 Interterm course “Fun With Drones”. Born out of a collaboration from the 2016 Intro to Design Thinking course offered by the Smith College Design Thinking Initiative, this year’s “Fun With Drones” class offers students a chance to explore the basics of drone technology, map flight missions for the small aerial devices, and learn more about the safety regulations governing remote-controlled drone flights. Information on the original collaboration can be found here.

    Read Full Article

  • Is Google the New McKinsey?

    Forbes. 25 January 2017

    By Alex Cowan

    Professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Alex Cowan discusses his students that prefer to work for Google. He states “The MBA that prefers Google cares about his or her skill set, and wants to be where the action is: digital disruption. Digital disruption is probably the single most exciting thing happening in business and that’s where these MBA’s want to be”.

    Read Full Article

  • Pentagram Visualizes Planned Parenthood’s 100-Year Fight For Reproductive Rights

    Co.Design. 25 January 2017

    By Diana Budds

    Designer Paula Scher is no stranger to work with an activist message, but today’s political climate has reinforced why it has been an important and enduring part of her career. So when Planned Parenthood asked her to design supergraphics to envelop a three-story staircase at the nonprofit’s newly minted headquarters in New York, Scher jumped at the opportunity. The collage she created speaks to the organization’s 100-year history as a women’s health and birth control advocate. “It’s not enough to write a check and go away,” she says. “We’re going to have to be on the front lines because there’s too much at stake.”

    Read Full Article

  • Design Thinking Could Help Those Who Want To Get Unstuck

    NPR – Morning Edition. 2 January 2017

    By Shankar Vedantam

    Smith College Professor Borjana Mikic is currently leading a critical reading of “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Using the principles of this book as a guide, Mikic will lead students on a deep dive into the theories, mindsets, and practices associated with Design Thinking and apply them to designing their paths forward at Smith and beyond. This NPR piece features co-author Dave Evans discussing the process of design thinking as it can be applied to the evolution of personal iterative paths of life.

    Read Full Article

  • Knight Foundation – Community Information Lab

    Knight Foundation. 13 February 2017

    The Knight Foundation is sponsoring long-term design thinking projects to encourage place-based funders to take a leadership role in meeting local information needs. What kind of local news and information were people receiving – and missing? What gaps needed to be filled? In the past, the Knight Foundation has provided $22 million to 88 foundations addressing these issues with a range of projects from digital literacy campaigns to support for the first generation of local nonprofit news sites, and more. Be on the look out for the next round of applications.

    Read More

  • Using Design Principles To Reshape Local Government

    Fast Company. 9 February 2017

    By Katharine Schwab

    A significant challenge for much local government is understanding what constituents want and need. The top-down approach that many agencies employ can create a disconnect between services and who’s being served.

    Read Full Article

  • MathStudio at Smith College

    Spike – Issue 50, Winter 2017

    By Dominikus Müller

    Pau Atela is a recent recipient of the Design Thinking Initiative’s Curricular Enhancement Grant. His work was recently featured in Spike Magazine. In the piece, author Dominikus Muller states of Atela’s studio, “In this space, students are not allowed to wear socks and invited to think through moving and manipulating materials. He allows his life experiences and street discoveries to enter into this space, stimulating students to with the idea that mathematics happens naturally and humanely.” Atela’s Spring 2016 Art/Math Studio course at Smith College provided students the opportunity to actively engage in the design and fabrication of mathematical models while also partaking in the exploration of an individual theme through a studio art practice.

    Purchase Spike Issue #50 Here

  • Fun With Drones: Students Learn Basics of Remote-Controlled Flight

    Grecourt Gate – Smith College. 27 January 2017

    Spatial Analysis Lab Director Jon Caris enlisted the help of Design Thinking Initiative student Alex Widstrand in designing the 2017 Interterm course “Fun With Drones”. Born out of a collaboration from the 2016 Intro to Design Thinking course offered by the Smith College Design Thinking Initiative, this year’s “Fun With Drones” class offers students a chance to explore the basics of drone technology, map flight missions for the small aerial devices, and learn more about the safety regulations governing remote-controlled drone flights. Information on the original collaboration can be found here.

    Read Full Article

  • Is Google the New McKinsey?

    Forbes. 25 January 2017

    By Alex Cowan

    Professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Alex Cowan discusses his students that prefer to work for Google. He states “The MBA that prefers Google cares about his or her skill set, and wants to be where the action is: digital disruption. Digital disruption is probably the single most exciting thing happening in business and that’s where these MBA’s want to be”.

    Read Full Article

  • Pentagram Visualizes Planned Parenthood’s 100-Year Fight For Reproductive Rights

    Co.Design. 25 January 2017

    By Diana Budds

    Designer Paula Scher is no stranger to work with an activist message, but today’s political climate has reinforced why it has been an important and enduring part of her career. So when Planned Parenthood asked her to design supergraphics to envelop a three-story staircase at the nonprofit’s newly minted headquarters in New York, Scher jumped at the opportunity. The collage she created speaks to the organization’s 100-year history as a women’s health and birth control advocate. “It’s not enough to write a check and go away,” she says. “We’re going to have to be on the front lines because there’s too much at stake.”

    Read Full Article

  • Design Thinking Could Help Those Who Want To Get Unstuck

    NPR – Morning Edition. 2 January 2017

    By Shankar Vedantam

    Smith College Professor Borjana Mikic is currently leading a critical reading of “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Using the principles of this book as a guide, Mikic will lead students on a deep dive into the theories, mindsets, and practices associated with Design Thinking and apply them to designing their paths forward at Smith and beyond. This NPR piece features co-author Dave Evans discussing the process of design thinking as it can be applied to the evolution of personal iterative paths of life.

    Read Full Article

2016

  • After years of intensive analysis, Google discovers the key to good teamwork is being nice

    Quartz. 26 February 2016

    By Aamna Mohdin

    Google wants to know the secret to building a more productive team. The tech giant charged a team to find out. The project, known as Project Aristotle, took several years, and included interviews with hundreds of employees and analysis of data about the people on more than 100 active teams at the company. The Googlers looked hard to find a magic formula—the perfect mix of individuals necessary to form a stellar team—but it wasn’t that simple.

    Read Full Article

  • Creative Teamwork: Smithies Design ‘Parklets’ for Downtown Northampton

    Grecourt Gate. 6 December 2016

    By Maryellen Stohlman-Vanderveen

    Students at Smith College design temporary parks and parklets for the City of Northampton’s Plan Health: Designing Healthy Communities project. A collaborative effort between Engineering and Landscape Studies courses, students rise to the occasion to design for their greater community.

    Read Full Article

  • Why Higher Education Needs Design Thinking

    Fast Company – Co.Design. 7 December 2016

    By Doreen Lorenzo

    Professor Kate Canales of the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU discusses design’s role in disrupting higher education in Co.Design’s “Designing Women” series with Doreen Lorenzo.

    Read Full Article

  • Scotiabank Investing $1 million in OCAD’S Design Thinking Research Studio

    BetaKit. 7 December 2016

    By Jessica Galang

    The collaboration between Scotiabank and the Ontario College of Art and Design stands to offer students a Design Thinking curriculum, rich with experiential learning, providing them the skills to innovate beyond the university setting.

    Read Full Article

  • ‘A Better Future is Possible’: IDEO’s Sandy Speicher on Design Thinking in Schools

    EdSurge. 15 November 2016

    By Mary Jo Madda

    An interview with IDEO’s Sandy Speicher on the genesis of the Education Studio at IDEO, the role that design thinking plays in improving K-12 education, and where she sees the biggest opportunities for growth and improvement in schools.

    Read Full Article

  • Is design thinking the new liberal arts?

    The Wall Street Journal. 4 November 2016

    By Irving Wladawsky-Berger

    I first learned about design thinking during a 2005 visit to the Olin College of Engineering. Olin College was started in 2002 as a small, new kind of engineering college on the outskirts of Boston. Its mission statement states that “Olin College prepares students to become exemplary engineering innovators who recognize needs, design solutions and engage in creative enterprises for the good of the world.”Its curriculum emphasizes three key areas: a rigorous engineering education; entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking; and the arts, which broadly encompasses creativity, innovation and design. “It is hoped that design will move toward the center of the Olin College curriculum. One cannot design what one cannot imagine; therefore, enhancing creativity is an important precursor to effective design.”

    Read Full Article

  • Time to Re-Think Design Thinking

    HuffPostBlog. 12 October 2016

    By Olof Schybergson

    Faced by growing competition and nimbler start-ups, many organizations are struggling. They suffer from a crisis of innovation. Unable to differentiate their brands, their products and their services in a digitally disruptive world, organizations’ future success depends on better managing and responding to change. Their very existence hinges on their ability to continuously and rapidly innovate. In order to do so successfully, they must place people at the heart of everything they do. They must harness the power of design.

    Read Full Article

  • How IDEO Designers Persuade Companies to Accept Change

    Harvard Business Review. 17 May 2016

    By Ashlea Powell

    Transformative empathy is an approach that IDEO is taking to help organizations navigate periods of difficult change. When an organization’s stakeholders are having trouble imagining things being different than they are, or when they are extremely removed from (and even judgmental of) their customers, the experience of being wholly immersed in somebody else’s perspective can free up their thinking. The desired outcome is that stakeholders come away from the experience in agreement about the challenge we are solving and with a felt understanding of why things need to change.

    Read Full Article

  • Achieving Mindfulness at Work, No Meditation Cushion Required

    NYTimes. 23 April 2016

    By Matthew E. May

    Discussing the approach to mindfulness and meditation as it infiltrates mainstream business practice, this author explains how seeing problems from a different perspective may have a similar outcome as the Eastern approach of suspending thought and self-distancing.

    Read Full Article

  • How Design Thinking Can Benefit Government Agencies

    NextGov. 20 September 2016

    By Michael T. McHugh

    In the pursuit of greater efficiency, innovation and service, design thinking is a highly effective and helpful model. Federal agencies are beginning to use design thinking to creatively address mission objectives and improve processes.

    Read Full Article

  • Want to Find Fulfillment at Last? Think Like a Designer

    New York Times. 17 September 2016

    By Steven Kurutz

    Two Silicon Valley veterans have been helping Stanford students navigate the future through their popular courses. Now they want to help you. Creators of Stanford’s “Designing Your Life” class share insight on their curriculum and how it evolves beyond the classroom.

    Read Full Article

  • Fred Gelli on creating the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic branding

    Design Week, 19 August 2016

    By Sarah Dawood

    Tátil is the Brazilian design consultancy behind the branding for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Creative director Fred Gelli provides detail about his sculptural logo forms, why it’s important to bring brands to life and where he finds his inspiration.

    Read Full Article

  • Design Thinking Develops Empathy

    Education Week. 13 June 2016

    By Lisa Yokana

    Guest Blogger, Lisa Yokana, describes how she uses design thinking to foster global competence in her classroom at Scarsdale High School in New York. Yokana sets out to encourage students so that they understand their own power and ability to change their world by taking action. Her approach is to: start small, make it relevant and local, and use Design Thinking to manage the process. To Yokana, design thinking is a codification of the artistic or scientific process and starts with empathy and understanding. In her class, students gather insights, define the problem and then brainstorm multiple solutions before moving forward to prototyping and testing their ideas.

    Read Full Article

  • What Design Thinking is Doing for San Francisco Opera

    dezeen. 3 June 2016

    By David Hoyt and Robert I. Sutton

    The San Francisco Opera has started hosting an evening called Barely Opera with a Wheel of Songs where audience members can spin to select the next song, a live DJ, opera-themed drinks, and costumes for attendees to try on. Barely Opera is the result of a collaboration with the d.school and it was designed to remove the intimidation often felt by those new to opera and introduce a younger, hipper audience to operatic music. The true challenge for the San Francisco Opera, an organization committed to perfection, was to embrace experimentation.

    Read Full Article

  • Why are designers whining about Design Thinking?

    dezeen. 24 May 2016

    By Lucas Verweij

    What exactly is design thinking and why does it illicit such an impassioned debate? The idea behind design thinking is to apply the problem-solving methods and techniques commonly found in design to problems and questions outside of the regular design scope. That could be a strategic problem, a development of a service, or even a political issue.

    Read Full Article

  • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It

    LinkedIn. 17 May 2016

    By Don Norman

    Design has evolved into a way of thinking, of problem discovery, and of enhancing the lives of individuals, the experience of the workforce, and even the health of the planet.

    Read Full Article

  • How To Lead An Organization Creatively

    FastCompany. 16 May 2016

    By Diana Budds

    IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown thinks the traditional way we’ve thought about leadership is not the most effective way of unlocking the creativity of an organization, whether it’s a traditional design organization. For Brown, the pace of change, the level of volatility, and the level of disruption across every industry requires that all organizations constantly evolve.

    Read Full Article

  • Teaching Design Thinking in UK Prisons

    Design Week. 25 April 2016

    By Tom Banks

    A major scheme is being launched to teach prisoners “design thinking” so that they can break the cycle of reoffending and apply new skills upon their release.

    Read Full Article

  • Use Design Thinking to Develop the 7 Mindsets of the Mentally Wealthy

    Education Week. 1 Apr 2016

    By Sabba Quidwai

    In an article previewing his new book The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth James Altucher makes a bold and perhaps even controversial statement, ‘Wealthy people own valuable assets. The middle class and poor simply rely on salaries.’ In reflecting on Altucher’s statement, I began to realize that in education, the wealthy of the future will be comprised of those future-oriented students who invest in the valuable assets of mastering skills and mindsets. Meanwhile, the middle class and poor will be those who do not invest in those assets when they have the opportunity – if one was even provided to them.

    Read Full Article

  • Frog’s Ex-President Brings Design Thinking To Academia

    FAST Company, Co.Design. 24 Mar 2016

    By Meg Miller

    ‘It used to be you went to school and became a graphic designer or an industrial designer, but that’s all changed,’ says Doreen Lorenzo. ‘Now design is about problem solving and critical skills. Long gone is the sole inventor.’ Lorenzo should know—she’s been a leader in the design industry for nearly two decades, serving as president of both the prestigious design firm Frog and the invention platform Quirky (she also writes a column for Co.Design). At the beginning of March, Lorenzo announced that she has taken a position at the University of Texas at Austin to oversee an initiative to integrate design thinking into the curriculum across the university. As director of the Center for Integrated Design, Lorenzo will work with faculty in fine arts, business, engineering, architecture, and computer science to create a program that will allow students to study design from a multidisciplinary perspective and earn either a certificate or degree. The idea is to encourage students to use the school’s many different resources to learn about design as a problem-solving system, a concept that the professional world has already embraced.

    Read Full Article

  • Can design thinking challenge the scientific method?

    Oxford University press. 21 Mar 2016

    By Ben Shneiderman

    The scientific method has long reigned as the trusted way to test hypotheses so as to produce new knowledge. Shaped by the likes of Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, and Ronald A. Fisher, the idea of replicable controlled experiments with at least two treatments has dominated scientific research as a way of producing accepted truths about the world around us.
    However, there is growing interest in design thinking, a research method which encourages practitioners to reformulate goals, question requirements, empathize with users, consider divergent solutions, and validate designs with real-world interventions. Design thinking promotes playful exploration and recognizes the profound influence that diverse contexts have on preferred solutions. Advocates believe that they are dealing with “wicked problems” situated in the real world, in which controlled experiments are of dubious value. … Many in the scientific community will grant that design thinking has benefits in coming up with better toothbrushes or attractive smartphones, but they see little relevance to research work that leads to discoveries.

    Read Full Article

  • How Design Thinking Is Changing Medicine

    Metropolist – Point of View, 16 Mar 2016

    By Sarah Rafson

    When his two sons began studying engineering and architecture, Dr. Steven Reis, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), noticed something fascinating. As a biomedical scientist, Reis had been trained to begin research with a problem—but no goal—in mind; his sons, on the other hand, were learning to approach problem-solving in an entirely different manner. Reis was detecting a phenomenon described by the psychologist and design researcher Bryan Lawson in his 1972 book How Designers Think. According to Lawson scientists focus “their attention on understanding the underlying rules” of a problem, while architects are “obsessed with achieving the desired result.” Watching his sons, Reis began to wonder, “What would happen if we applied a human-centered, solution-focused mindset to medical research?”

    Read Full Article

  • Better Service, Faster: A Design Thinking Case Study

    Harvard Business Review, 6 Jan 2016

    By Robert I. Sutton and David Hoyt

    Stanford students Elizabeth Woodson and Saul Gurdus drove a rented Winnebago to the San Mateo office of the Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC), to invite eight (GGRC) staffers to participate in an experiment. The plan was to meet with potential clients in the neighborhoods where they live. The GGRC team would assess each family’s needs and decide if they qualified for assistance right then and there.

    The Winnebago experiment wasn’t something that GGRC was ready to sustain and scale up. It was too expensive, for one thing. But the exercise wasn’t really about the Winnebago; it was about pushing beyond what was comfortable, taking a different point of view, trying something new, experimenting, and discovering what to try next. It was part of a larger effort by GGRC staffers to rethink what was possible for their clients and themselves.

    Read Full Article

  • ‘Design Thinking’ for a Better You

    New York Times, Well Blog, 4 Jan 2016

    By Tara Parker-Pope

    A strategy called “design thinking” has helped numerous entrepreneurs and engineers develop successful new products and businesses. But can design thinking help you create healthful habits?

    Bernard Roth, a prominent Stanford engineering professor, says that design thinking can help everyone form the kind of lifelong habits that solve problems, achieve goals and help make our lives better.

    “We are all capable of reinvention,” says Dr. Roth, a founder of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford and author of the book, “The Achievement Habit.”

    I’ve applied design thinking to my own life the past few months, and it seems to be working. I’ve lost 25 pounds, reconnected with close friends and refocused my energy on specific goals and habits.

    Read Full Article

2015

  • Design Thinking Isn’t Always the Answer

    Kellogg Insight, 7 Dec 2015

    By Klaus Weber

    Design thinking, which combines customer insight, technical expertise, and rapid prototyping, offers quick solutions that are potentially replicable. But design thinking is not the only pathway to social innovation. According to Klaus Weber, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, the design approach—for all its merits—has overshadowed another important vehicle for social change: community development.

    “It’s not as sexy,” Weber says, but there is something uniquely effective about engaging local communities. “Community development can be slow and difficult to scale, but the solutions are usually more durable when they come right out of communities themselves.”

    Read Full Article

  • 5 Things to know about design thinking at Smith

    Grecourt Gate

    Check out the feature on us in the Gate! The article describes 5 principles about design thinking and how it is taking shape at Smith.

      1. Design thinking is a mindset


    It’s a framework for becoming more fluent in shifting from analytical thinking to playful and unbounded creating.

      2.Design thinking is not brand new at Smith


    Design thinking, which already exists in small pockets at Smith, can now be amplified by welcoming to the table more students and faculty who may be non-traditional practitioners of design.

      3. Design thinking is for everyone


    Smith’s design thinking initiative is at heart an effort to democratize access to design thinking by using it across disciplines to enrich learning on campus.

      4. Design thinking is an experiment


    The four-year pilot program is an opportunity to experiment with the curriculum and with learning and working spaces on campus.

      5. Smith can be a pioneer in design thinking


    Design thinking encourages students to form a bias toward action. Our unique brand of design thinking at Smith will promote a bias toward activism.

    Read Full Article

  • Designing the future of BU’s College of Fine Arts

    BU Today, 30 Nov 2015

    By Susan Seligson

    Lynne Allen, interim dean of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts is leading a task force on creating a strategic vision of the college. The task force sees design thinking as central to the future of creative education. Lynne Allen says, “We’re using design thinking to facilitate a conversation about the really big questions that go beyond CFA. I want CFA to wrestle with these questions and decipher what the future can look like and then run with it.”

    At a retreat this week, the task force introduced a shared-thought framework for approaching CFA’s mission, Allen says, and articulated emergent themes and essential questions: “How do we prepare students for a meaningful creative life? How do we assess the value of the arts in changing times? How do we create an integrated CFA that can respond to changing times?”

    Read Full Article

  • How Human-Centered Design Can Change the World for Good

    HuffPostBlog, 18 November 2015

    By Marquis Cabrera

    Founding member of Design for America (DFA) Dr. Elizabeth Gerber is interviewed by Tech Entrepeneur Marquis Cabrera. Garber discusses the moment of inspiration for DFA and her plan its future impact. She focuses on her hope to foster collective innovation and support thinkers and makers to come together in creative problem solving. Garber emphasizes that the role of DFA is to manifest the infrastructure and model a structure to support necessary innovation.

    Read Full Article

  • IBM’s Design-centered strategy to set free the squares

    NY Times, 14 Nov 2015

    By Steve Lohr

    Across corporate America, there is a rising enthusiasm for design thinking not only to develop products but also to guide strategy and shape decisions…

    The incubator for the company’s ambitious experiment in corporate culture renovation can be found in a building on a corporate campus in Austin. Above a sprawling open-plan space, metal tracks fit movable whiteboard walls, creating temporary rooms — “huddle spaces” — for small teams of workers, rarely more than a dozen. The walls are covered with drawings, text and Post-it notes — “idea parking lots,” they’re called. If teams have to travel and don’t meet for a week or two, the walls come down and are stored in steel transport carts, notes and sketches intact.

    The space constantly changes, as teams form or disband, add people or shed them, according to the nature of the work. Read Full Article

  • Design Thinking Comes of Age

    Harvard Business Review, September 2015 Issue

    By Jon Kolko

    Because design has historically been equated with aesthetics and craft, designers have been celebrated as artistic savants. But a design-centric culture transcends design as a role, imparting a set of principles to all people who help bring ideas to life. Let’s consider those principles.

    • Focus on users’ experiences, especially their emotional ones.
    • Create models to examine complex problems.
    • Use prototypes to explore potential solutions.
    • Tolerate failure
    • A design culture is nurturing. It doesn’t encourage failure, but the iterative nature of the design process recognizes that it’s rare to get things right the first time. Apple is celebrated for its successes, but a little digging uncovers the Newton tablet, the Pippin gaming system, and the Copland operating system—products that didn’t fare so well. (Pippin and Copland were discontinued after only two years.) The company leverages failure as learning, viewing it as part of the cost of innovation. Read Full Article

  • Design Thinking for Student Ownership of Learning

    HuffPost, The Blog Gen DIY, 19 October 2015

    By Sara Matlock, Boise High School Idaho

    Let’s imagine a world without limitations. A world where ideas can resonate and make an impact. A world that is accessible to students.

    This is where design thinking starts.

    Design thinking is a process of problem solving that places an emphasis on understanding real world problems in the attempt to collaborate to create meaningful solutions. To be successful with this process, it is imperative that you trust your voice and the voices of your peers. If we box ourselves inside the limitations we convince ourselves of, we will not have room for the creativity our world needs. The crazier your ideas are, the more original they become, giving them the potential to be revolutionary. Imagine what our world would look like if the Wright brothers had believed gravity to be a limitation; we would lack our fastest mode of transportation.

    Within trusting our own voices, it is also important for us to listen to the voices of others. We can collect an artillery of perspectives to use to attack the problem, and, perhaps even more importantly, we can be inspired to create new ideas and build on the ideas of others. Collaboration in design thinking is a bit like playing with Play-doh; ultimately everyone’s ideas are squished together to create a colorful sphere of solutions. The more colorful the solutions, the more likely they are to be effective. Read Full Article

  • How to incubate creativity in school through making and discovery

    Mind/Shift, KQED Blog, 17 September 2015

    By Katrina Schwartz

    Student should stumble around a little bit noticing patterns and eventually walk away with some basics, says Aaron Vanderwerff. He’s the Creativity Lab and Science director at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California. He’s been coaching teachers on how to incorporate “making” into their curriculum when it’s appropriate. He says about 70 percent of the staff ask for help from the Creativity Lab each year.

    “Core teachers are interested in trying to integrate this,” Vanderwerff said. “The concept of the coaching is that if we help someone with one or two projects, they may do more on their own.”

    He runs workshops for teachers designed to give them the experience of learning through making and inquiry, so they understand how the framework can help their students. And it’s working. Read Full Article