Collectively ‘Thinking Design’

..my experience..
Starting studies after a decade…years of work life and now back again to a student life!

Was not sure what to expect and get from the SID master’s program starting on the morning of 4th September 2015 with ‘Design Thinking’

A very exciting day to begin, students around full of inspiration, motivated, energized and from various backgrounds. Getting to know and learn from each other all about the concept of Design Thinking was the essence of the two-day workshop held by guest lecturers Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença.

An interesting ice breaker for the team was the ‘mind shake warm-up’ and ‘who is who’ activities. Learnt a lot of new things not only on the subject but also about other students as well as myself! That’s when I realized that it is going to be an exciting learning journey ahead!

 Mind Shake game

Ice breaker – Mind Shake game

 who is who

Group exercise – who is who

..my knowledge..
Why design thinking?

Design Thinking is a way of thinking which leads to transformation, evolution and innovation. Tschimmel, K. (2012) it is human-centric approach which starts with observing people in their natural surroundings, helps to understand customer’s actual needs and create business that taps into their existing behavior. This way customers are much more likely to relate to the new business.

DT gives us a new way of tackling problems instead of defaulting to our normal convergent approach where we make the best choice out of available alternatives, it encourages us to take a divergent approach, to explore new alternatives, new solutions, new ideas that have not existed before. It provides essential tools for businesses by combining the creative approach of design disciplines which is beneficial in a new business innovation.

Design thinking process models
DT has various methods to process design service in the market. We were introduced to several models like DT Model, Double Diamond, 3I’s, HCD, DT for educators and IDEO but we learned more about the Evolution 6² model created by Tschimmel.

Evolution 6² model

Evolution 6² model: Emergence, Empathy, Experimentation, Elaboration, Exposition, Extension.

Tschimmel defines 10 categories in her article: Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation: Observation, Mind Maps, Personas, Brain writing & Brain sketching, Sketching, Visual and Semantic Confrontations, Storyboard, Rapid Prototyping, Storytelling, and Learning experiences/Testing.

With so many options, it’s good to choose or combine best practices and methods that are most suitable for the case in hand and customize accordingly.

We had quite many practical activities to familiarize ourselves with some of the tools of design process. Desktop walk-through, a type of prototype creation with Legos play toys was really interesting as many of us had not touched Legos since childhood :).

Prototype

E.g. Legos Prototype

Storyboard

E.g. Storyboard

Design thinking together
As Gijs van Wulfen mentions in his book The Innovation Expedition: A visual toolkit to start Innovation

“You can invent alone, but you can’t innovated alone.” – Gijs van Wulfen

Within complex organizations you cannot innovate alone. Need people from every discipline to develop a new product, produce it, market it, sell it, bill it and service it! DT is a group effort where each team member builds on each other’s ideas and brings their expertise to the group. Teamwork will get you better results and greater support for the outcome.

“Designers not only develop innovative solutions by working in teams with colleagues, researchers and stakeholders, but also often in collaboration with the final customers and users of their creations.”– Katja Tschimmel

FORTH model

FORTH model: Image from book The Innovation Expedition

Gijs makes similarity between service designers and explorers like Columbus and Magellan to map innovation. The FORTH innovation method is a structured way to ideate new products services and business models presented in five steps:

  • Full steam ahead: teaming up and seeking opportunities
  • Observe and learn: exploring the opportunities and find customer frictions
  • Raise ideas: brainstorming ideas and develop them into concepts
  • Test Ideas: testing concepts and develop them based on feedback
  • Home coming: creating business cases out of the concepts

..my take..
During the contact session, working collaboratively in groups, each team member bought in a lot of new experiences with practical insights. The ideas were diverse, fresh and exciting. Initially most of us had different perspectives and did not comprehend each other. But as we worked collaboratively, we managed to find a common platform thus leading to the finalized product. We presented as one team which was eventually the key goal!  🙂

“When we dream alone it’s only a dream, when we dream together it becomes a reality” – John Lennon

Written by Sapna Jaisinghani
Service Innovation and Design MBA Student

Sources
Tschimmel, K. (2012) ‘Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation’ in Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation from Experience.

van Wulfen, Gijs 2013. The innovation expedition – a visual toolkit to start innovation. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers.

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