Design Thinking Intro: Day One

Introduction to a new discipline known as Design Thinking  

Prior to the crash course we had on Design Thinking yesterday, the discipline or methodology was unheard of for me. I have since then acquired a basic knowledge of what it is and how it works. The crash course allowed me to understand through practice the underlying principles that make the methodology what it is in a short amount of time.

My understanding so far of Design thinking is this- it is a way of ‘exploring/solving undefined or ‘wicked’ problems’.  It involves finding and constructing constraints along the way by providing possible solutions that are influenced by discussion and evaluation before deciding on the best method or approach to solve the problem.

A process model is given to follow:  


There are six professional expertise capabilities such as attitudes, values, knowledge, cognition, creativity and practice that form as the basis of successful design thinking. These six become what we have to aspire to develop throughout the workshop and the four-week brief. And therefore will form as the basis of my reflective entries.  

Reflection upon the Design Thinking exercises

The crash course on Design Thinking was really very helpful. In its brevity I was able to grasp the basic concepts of the methodology. The timed exercises were enjoyable and challenging. The latter was because of not knowing the right questions to ask in the second or third iterations to gain deeper insights rather than just dealing with the surface details ie the aesthetics and materials. It was also remembering to include all points made by the user when sketch ideating. For example, my mission statement was to design a wallet for a sentimental person who values simplicity and practicality. She had wanted a pocket-fit wallet that would carry her necessities but would also allow her to keep even just one family photo for safe keeping. In the first go, I was able to account for every point she had made apart from that notion of sentimentality.  

After the second iteration we were asked to make a life-size prototype of the wallet to enable the user to ‘experience’ having their ‘ideal wallet’ in their hands at that time. Ideally, within a real project, the process doesn’t stop there. I would expect a few more iterations and a few more prototypes with a little bit more detail each time gained from the feedbacks and insights of the user before coming to a well informed decision.  

This new discipline will be applied in the combined HCD and Studio II project. This is to help contextualise the new theories that are being taught via the workshop sessions. And therefore help us gain a better understanding of this new discipline.  

A reflection on my personal progress towards my learning of design thinking expertise will be recorded here.

 In yesterday’s session, the emphasis was on the importance of developing sound knowledge and practice of this discipline as it is a transferrable skill that helps with innovation and competency in the design industry.  

It was also underlined that good collaboration is essential to run a successful business: “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”- Steve Jobs.  It is indeed in our best interest as aspiring entrepreneurs that as early as now we become familiar with and comfortable in working in team environments.


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