Design Thinking…Create your own visual style..!!

I chose the study subject Design Thinking because it interested me as an aspiring engineer and problem solver. I believe this process for solving problems is relevant in any career path throughout all of life. In any set of society there are problems that need solving and Design Thinking can be applied to find effective solutions.

As the very first contact session of Design Thinking at Laurea, Katja Tschimmel explained us what is Design Thinking and why it is needed. I understood the importance of visualization in deep when Katja Tschimmel gave us instructions how to be more creative and we started with different exercises on this.

We were divided in to groups. Each group having around 4-5 people. Our first task was that each person from our group will tell about himself/herself, his/her hobbies, likes, dislikes, profession etc. Another person in the group will write it on a sticky note and parallel another person will draw his/her sketch.

This first task really took us from our comfort zone and made us realize that design is human centered approach to innovations that draws on the designers tool kit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirement for business success. Fear no longer! The design thinking contact sessions completely transformed the sessions, with the intense focus and the energy igniting the participants progress in achieving the session outcomes.

 group

Katja explained in the course that there are many different Design Thinking models and tools available. For example, IDEO’s HCD model, 3I model, model of the Hasso-Plattner institute, SDT – Service Design Thinking model, 4D or Double Diamond model (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) etc. We practiced MindShake’s – Evolution E6 – innovation & design thinking model. During our 2 days’ contact sessions, we practiced few different tools from Evolution 62 toolkit.

We explored this highly complex tool in just two days. This usually takes couple of months when practiced professionally, it was a very wonderful and team building experience of learning with creativity.

 

Starting with the first step of Evolution E6, E1 Emergence, the opportunity Map helped us to visualize our thoughts and come up with different types of services that can be offered in a business.

“Mind maps are a great tool for strategic planning as they enable you to conduct all kinds of analyses and evaluations of your company, your products, and the market. “

 

E6 Step1-1Step1 – Opportunity Mind Map

 

Second step being E2 Empathy, where we learned stakeholders map as a divergence process and created insight map as convergence process.

 

E6 Step2-1    Step2 – Insight Map

Third step being E3 Experimentation, wherein the ideas were generated and tested.
 

Fourth step was E4 Elaboration (working on material and semantic solutions), here we learned about creating the service blueprint.

“A blueprint helps understand the totality of a service as a process. It provides a graphical depiction of the services. The service system blueprint simplifies service complexities by displaying the operation of an existing system.”

 

E6 Step4-2Step4 – Service Blueprint

 

Fifth step being E5 Exposition wherein the new concept or a problem and its solution was explained with the help of a story and a prototype model.

“A prototype is a representation of a design produced before the final solution exists. It allows you and potentially your future customers to understand the product.”

 

E6 Step5-2                  Step5 – Prototype Building

This was really a wonderful experience which helped me to expand my horizon and vision towards design thinking. Also, I realized that below are the characteristics that are essential is a design thinker:

Empathy: – The art of imagining the world from multiple perspectives- those of colleagues, clients and customers

Integrative thinking:the process of integrating intuition, reason and imagination in a human mind with a view to developing a holistic continuum of strategy, tactics, action, review and evaluation for addressing a problem in any field

Optimism:No matter how challenging the constraints of a given problem, at least one potential solution is better than the existing alternatives

Experimentalism:remarkable ideas and innovations do not come by incremental tweaks, it is required to pose questions and explore the constraints in a creative way that leads to entirely new directions

Collaboration: Innovative ideas and concepts are not always from a lone creative genius but it also needs collaboration from enthusiastic interdisciplinary collaborator

It has indeed initiated a thought process in me and have given me a closer look what I will be learning in next coming years. I am really excited to get deeper into this !

From my own research, I have come to the conclusion that there are lot of components in the process of Design Thinking and many steps that work together to make it work, but the ability to effective understand and share the feelings of the subject of a solution or design is of the utmost important!

References:

Tschimmel, Katja 2012. Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona. http://www.academia.edu/1906407/Design_Thinking_as_an_effective_Toolkit_for_Innovation

Brown, Tim 2008. Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, June, 84-95. http://www.ideo.com/images/uploads/thoughts/IDEO_HBR_Design_Thinking.pdf

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