What is design thinking?
Design thinking is an innovative problem-solving process rooted in a set of skills.
The approach has been around for decades, but it only started gaining traction outside of the design community after the 2008 Harvard Business Review article [subscription required] titled “Design Thinking” by Tim Brown, CEO and president of design company IDEO.
At a high level, the steps involved in the design thinking process are simple: first, fully understand the problem; second, explore a wide range of possible solutions; third, iterate extensively through prototyping and testing; and finally, implement through the customary deployment mechanisms.
The skills associated with these steps help people apply creativity to effectively solve real-world problems better than they otherwise would. They can be readily learned, but take effort. For instance, when trying to understand a problem, setting aside your own preconceptions is vital, but it’s hard. Creative brainstorming is necessary for developing possible solutions, but many people don’t do it particularly well. And throughout the process it is critical to engage in modeling, analysis, prototyping, and testing, and to really learn from these many iterations.
Design Thinking in Education
Design Thinking brings the focus back to the learning individual
Rather than having students recycle standardized bundles of knowledge, a learner-centered approach to education allows the students to focus on authentic problems while emphasizing human talents and abilities.
And this is where design thinking as a human-centered approach can help.
IDEO defines human centered design as a creative approach to problem-solving that starts with people and ends with innovative solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs