Design Thinking

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For organizations wanting to be commercially successful and make impact, being design-led is no longer just an option - it is mandatory.

Design: A field in transition

A fundamental transformation has swept through the design field ever since the adoption of Design Thinking by mainstream businesses and institutions. Design Thinking is now used to create more innovative and human centered products and services, and more importantly, to infuse innovation into organizational cultures and create new types of value in society.

Worldwide, design firms and educational programs grapple with redefining the field and its boundary conditions. Traditional, skills-based activities are making way for Design Thinking, a term referring to the techniques and cognitive processes involved in design, which can be used for complex multidimensional problems.  Design Thinking has emerged as a methodology that can be overlaid onto existing organizational processes, to leverage the ways that designers approach challenges and bring the power of design processes and mindsets to any challenge requiring creativity or sensitivity to multiple constraints and needs.

A Human Centered Approach

One of the key differentiators in DesignThinking is that it is a human-centered process.  A deep emphasis to identifying genuine needs, with a deep empathy and understanding of the human factor leads to offerings that are “pull” rather than “push” based. The iterative and creative process represents a different method of “de-risking” and seeks to identify hidden failure modes at the intersection of constraints, early and inexpensively while simultaneously thinking outside the box.

Design thinking is being directed towards a broad set of problems such as service design, product strategy, experience design, organizational transformation, defining new markets, and contributing to corporate strategy. The changes within the field as well as the manner in which it is being utilized are predicated on the discovery of design’s strategic value in contrast to its traditionally operational ones.

Unique Principles of Design Thinking

Design Thinking brings a set of unique principles to addressing complex challenges:

  • Human Centered: Understanding the human need and experience to guide the innovation process.
  • Reframing: Seeking different angles to understand the problem, and hence creating new ways to address the root cause.
  • Ideation: Brainstorming numerous ideas to widen the realm of possibilities before converging on the most effective and viable ones.
  • Prototyping: Building a cheap and rough prototype of an idea to test merits before investing in concepts that may not work.
  • Iteration: Testing ideas, gathering feedback, and learning from failures to understand the problem better and improve the concept.
Design Thinking Project
Innovation Capacity + Culture + Space Design Project
Building a Design-Led Organization Culture