How to Apply Design Thinking in Class, Step By Step By Anne Stevens For educators ready to try the idea of design thinking, you’ll be glad to know it does not require extensive transformation of your classroom. That said, it can be a transformative experience for all involved. Here, we try to answer your questions about integrating different components of a design learning experience into familiar, pre-existing scenarios that play out in every school. Can my classroom become a space of possibility? For students, the best classroom experience is a space of possibility. It can be challenging to transition a traditional classroom into a space of possibility. But in a classroom that is a space of possibility, the students have agency, and the products and processes can be moving targets. Can I run a design thinking classroom on Tuesdays from 1-3pm? You can run a flexible studio space in your classroom for a certain part of the day. I am not a designer. The first place to seek the curriculum is in your classroom’s daily activities.
Design Thinking Comes of Age Executive Summary In large organizations, design is moving closer to the center of the enterprise. This shift isn’t about aesthetics and product development, however. Design thinking is an essential tool for simplifying and humanizing. Creating a design-centric culture requires understanding that the returns on an investment in design are difficult to quantify, allowing people to take chances, and appreciating what design can and cannot achieve. HBR Reprint R1509D There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. A version of this article appeared in the September 2015 issue (pp.66–71) of Harvard Business Review. Why Human-Centered Design Matters In 1894, W.K. Kellogg made a discovery that would forever change what we eat in the morning. Seeking a more digestible breakfast alternative to baked bread for his brother’s hospital patients, the bespectacled former broom salesman accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat out overnight. The wheat became softened and when he rolled it out and baked it, each grain became a crispy flake. Kellogg tried the technique on corn. Over the course of several years, he perfected the tasty flakes by experimenting with different formulas and testing them with his brother’s patients. But Kellogg didn’t stop there. Kellogg’s genius came not just in his flair for food product invention, but also in his customer-centric approach, iterative prototyping process and careful consideration of the entire product experience — from the cereal itself to its packaging, marketing and distribution. Now I’m working with the team at Wanderful Media to re-invent the way people find great sales at nearby stores.
Can Design Thinking Help Schools Find New Solutions to Old Problems? Principal Kamar Samuels had a problem: how to reach the most disaffected students at Bronx Writing Academy, a middle school serving mostly low-income students. The usual discipline methods weren’t working and Samuels knew that if he could figure out how to engage his toughest students, he’d have a playbook to reach them all. So, he decided to make those students his focus group, asking them what they liked about school, and really listened to the answers. That technique is part of a user-centered design approach he’s trying out in order to tackle some of the age-old problems in education, like low achievement for Latino and African-American boys, with a new lens. “In education we do not typically engage our users — our students — to find what is causing them to be disengaged,” Samuels said. Instead, we often make the assumption that their disengagement means they don’t care about school or don’t have long term goals and dreams. “The technology ideas caught on the most,” Samuels said.