Design Thinking: Innovation Lab

I love the concept of Design Thinking.

I was researching the topic of Understanding by Design and wanted to break it down: Understanding and Design.  In doing so, I came across a presentation about Design Thinking – the one thing that will transform the way you think.  With a byline like that, I had to dig deeper – and it was well worth my time from a design standpoint and a virtual feast of ideas.

Embedded in this presentation was a remarkable video.  The ideas that are put in place to solve a problem are great, the concept of how they went about ‘pressure cooking’ their ideas is fascinating, and the close proximity to their target market was inspired.
I can think of loads of scenarios in which I would share this video in schools.  The thing I like the most is that shows the connection between learning and technology. I love that they made an analogue “app” from paper that people moved depending on which part of the paper the tester pushed.  Their lab is a great example of how technology can transform learning – with the focus being less on ‘lets make an app’ and so much more on ‘lets solve a problem’. (And yes, it is not lost on me that needing to find the “perfect” sunglasses does not warrant the category “problem”).
How do you share the idea that technology can transform learning, with your colleagues?

Design Thinking

Design, at its simplest, is about being intentional about the things we do and creating impact in the world.

You may have heard about Design Thinking but are still wondering what it really is. One post I read describes it simply as “a repeatable process for innovative problem solving”. This is another really good article that explains a little more about it. It breaks down the ‘steps’ of design thinking which could be present in any of our classrooms:

  1. Make a conscious effort to study an everyday activity: what do you do and why do you do it?
  2. Use these sharpened observation skills to come up with insights about your behavior.
  3. Armed with information, start designing solutions.

It really is that easy!

Here is a sample from the book “Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming”. This is a book I want to read more of in order to become better at facilitating creative, collaborative thinking and a deeper look into problem solving through design thinking.

Once you are ready, here are some Design Thinking ‘mindsets’ as prepared by the D.School at Stanford to get your head in the DT game: