Design Thinking – an effective approach to create new ideas?

Today I have attented a workshop on Design Thinking. It´s an innovation method developed in USA with the aim to develop innovative results faster that deviate from standard solutions. The steps included are the followings:

What´s interesting about it is that is merely focused on the user so that the first thought is how something can be improved for the user which happens in the phase “Emphasize” and “Define”. The next step is ideation. This can be done in various scenarios. For example, in today´s workshop we were supposed to create an ideal learning environment. First, each member had 5 minutes to write down anything that seemed important regardless of whether this was realistic or not. Secondly, we collected and categorised the ideas. Third, we developed furthermore ideas for each aspect we had summarised before. This formed the basis for the construction of our “Prototype”, which can be seen here:


It firstly appears wired and raises the question why educators are playing with LEGO ;). Also within the process I thought what I´m doing here. But in the end when presenting our result, it became quite apparent that our ideas were well thought through and although we cannot build a school with LEGO, it´s the idea that counts. And what´s more, by liberating your mind from thinking realistically right from the beginning, creative ideas develop which are useful for realistic scenarios.

For more information on Design Thinking for educators:

And an interesting MOOC about this specific topic:

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