Flight SID2014: Take-Off in the World of Design Thinker

On 12th Sep, 2014 0900Hrs flight SID2014 took-off with my cloudy thoughts into the world of Design Thinking. With clear Flight SID2014flight path, our Captains Katja Tschimmel and Gijs van Wulfen, introduced each other. I was surprised when Katja introduced Gijs and Gijs introduced Katja. But that is how I learn about “Collaboration principle in Design Thinking”. After brief introduction, it was time for the safety drill; Captain Katja introduced Design Thinking as the human centered, collaborative approach, based on the principles of visualization, experimentation and walk us through the various Design Thinking tools.

Now time for some food for thought, the only choice in the menu. Our innovation assignment was to develop a new service for better learning experience at Laurea and build Laurea as a brand. Captain Gijs walk us through the FORTH innovation method and this is how we came up with our innovation idea using different Design Thinking tools:

Forth Innovation method in practice

Forth Innovation method in practice

Full Steam Ahead: created a Mind Map. Identified the potential target groups and kick-off the innovation workshop.

Observe and Learn: created a Mood board, using design thinking tools like foto safari and image interviewing and presented the first draft of our concept.

Raise ideas: using Brainwriting, generated hundreds of ideas for our concept and shortlisted the potential innovation idea.

Test Ideas: presented the first draft of our idea as a Desktop Walkthrough to people outside our group and got feedback for our idea and some valid questions were raised around the idea which helped us correcting mistakes made in the first draft.

Home Coming: the whole process is followed by final Desktop walkthrough and producing the Business model canvas for the stakeholders, in our case for Director Katri Ojasalo as the final artifact of the innovation assignment.

I hope you are still with me and since it’s a long flight, I decided to read “Change by Design” by Tim Brown and this is what I learn:

  “In today’s competitive global economy, businesses cannot survive on working with traditional demand and supply methodology. Innovation is really what drives economic growth. Businesses need to start observing their customers to come up with innovative solutions that the customers not even know they need. Design Thinking methodology helps businesses  co-create innovative solutions with their customers.”

Before boarding the flight, I wouldn’t consider myself a design thinker. But after some initial flight turbulence and guidance from experienced captains, I am ready to fly into the Design Thinking world. This experience changes my perspective. Now all I can see around me are innovation opportunities, filling the design gap in day to day services.

Some learning from this flight – fail early to succeed sooner, wait for the right moment, failures are a possibility, look for problems to solve and innovate to solve those problems, raise ideas and make them in the context, try to analyze the ideas from as many different perspectives as possible (this will give useful insights).

To conclude, I leave you with the thoughts of Legendary innovator Steve Jobs – “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”

So, how was your experience of this virtual flight? Share it..!!


Tschimmel, K. 2012. Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona, Spain.

Brown, T. 2008. Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review.

Brown, T. 2009. Change by Design: How Design Thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York, United States: HarperCollins.

-Written by Nidhi R.Singh, SID 2014

5 thoughts on “Flight SID2014: Take-Off in the World of Design Thinker

  1. I really like how you compared the experience to flying – a new perspective definitely was the outcome of the Design Thinking course for hopefully all of us to some degree. The flight analogy also fits perfectly to the fact that designing means exploring and that the FORTH innovation method is, after all, a journey. I think it also goes well with how we all felt after this very first intensive course and as brand new service design and innovation students – we had a rapid start and went to enormous heights very quickly. Now we just need to keep flying throughout the studies to complete our pilot license and to learn some more maneuvers, like flying upside down and in circles, for even more new perspectives.

  2. Liked your approach a lot! Fresh and innovative! Flying and navigating through the Design Thinking sky was definitely a trip worth taking. And with whe pilots we had during the flight SID2014 we could feel safe at all times. A very effective two days with Gijs and Katja and a very nicely written blog!

  3. It was a really nice blog post to read, thanks! Fun idea to write it by comparing the class to a flight.
    You have managed to capture the essentials of our intensive course into your text.

  4. Great blog post! I really liked your different viewpoint and approach to design thinking. You are a real storyteller. You have summarized the core of design thinking and succesfully blended it with a great story.

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