Learn To Fly

I have a confession to make. I may have learned something! I´ll tell you more just keep on reading..


User Interface In the Wild (allegory)

Chaos is a good word to describe my feelings on day one of the two contact sessions titled Design Thinking. Two foreign experts where invited to give the lectures. I must tell you I came totally unprepared and found the speed in which things got rolling a bit too fast. But as we proceeded things got clearer. Things started to get shape and the chaos was tamed. We were Learning by Developing and I got to tell you, it worked! It has great advantages as it turned out.

After a brief introduction to history and present state of Design Thinking by  Dr. Katja Tschimmel she introduced us to a Design Thinking Model Evolution 6² that she has developed.  We were divided into groups of four or so and assigned to find opportunities aka. problems that emerge to us as we look more closely at  Laurea Universitry of Applied Sciences.

Guest Lecturers

At this point Mariana Valença took over and intoduced us more closely to the Evolution 6² Mindshake Design Thinking model step by step. Soon we found ourselves innovating a new user interface for Laurea students and teachers alike in our group.




The Model progresses through six phases, each phase adding to to the former. It´s more or less a linear process. In each phase there are six different tools that can be used. Not all tools suit each case and so the tools should be chosen with thought. Visualization and prototyping is used in each phase a lot. We got to draw, use a lot of post-its, play with legos and act scenes, which may sound a bit strange, but actually got us closer to our goal faster.


Our User Interface Prototype

We went through the phases in just two days but usually the process is carried out on a longer scale. It might take anything from half an year to 18 months. Anyway the advantage of Design Thinking is the speed at which the product or service is ready to be used.


There without any doubt is power in a heterogeneous cluster. Us four all come from different backgrounds and got along splendidly and most importantly progressed. IDEO uses various experts in their sessions (YouTube) and I can see why. We all look at the world differently and in best case supplement each other.


The dynamic energy was present at all times during the sessions. We all learned from each other and shared our thoughts. It was empowering to realise how the group formed and started building on each other’s ideas.

To me who is very curious and likes to experiment different things those two days were some of the best days ever. The problem-solving approach is genius but takes time to adapt. Gladly I´m a fast learner;)

So the confession! It´s the fact that I may be in love with Design Thinking and I certainly love LbD. What a journey it has being so far! Although I wish it´s just a beginning of far greater adventure.

-Markus Alavaikko



Design Thinking contact lessons by Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença, Laurea Leppävaara, Sep. 2nd-3rd 2016.

Tim Brown: “Change by design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation.” 

Tschimmel, Katja 2012. Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation in Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation from Experience. 




5 thoughts on “Learn To Fly

  1. I had some of the same thoughts after our first days. One thing about the diversity aspect that left me wondering whether it was purely coincidental or party deliberate that we were brought together as a group? * Insert foil hat emoji here* 😀
    Additionally, I love it that you see the way towards becoming a Design Thinker as a journey as well. I’m expecting that there might be a few bumps along the way, but still loving the ride!

  2. Enjoyed reading your confesion Markus! I agree we had quiet a speedy 2-day course.
    It is interesting to look back on the process.
    Glad to read you found such valuable things during the process.
    Good luck on future roads!

  3. You really closed up feelings about starting these new studies about design thinking. It felt like chaos in the beginning as we started to use use those design thinking tools. It was really great to notice how it was just a productive to work with people from different backgrounds as you said. I am happy to hear that you are so inspired about design thinking and motivated to go deeper into world of design thinking. I am slowly starting to get into it too.

  4. Hey Markus, the power of a heterogeneous group is really awesome! The different backgrounds and point of views make the group of “ideators” more powerful, with a higher capability of seeing things in different perspectives and therefore bringing more ideas to the table.

  5. My feelings were very similar. I especially enjoyed ideating together with such a varied group of professionals from different fields. Currently I feel that the strength of innovation really comes from bringing people together to solve a common problem. Many fields could really benefit from the service design tools, and I believe we will see a peek in service design jobs in the future!

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