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DES 2615 - Introduction to Design Thinking : design thinking

Design Thinking

  1. Learn creative thinking techniques and approaches in order to become “active thinkers” and challenge assumptions.

  2. Develop visual thinking and communication skills. There will be an emphasis on learning how to communicate ideas visually.

  3. Develop your skills as an observer of the world. Great designers observe the world with an active mind and see the possibility of change.

  4. Learn how to develop problem statements that bound a problem within the known constraints.

  5. Creatively generate solutions to the given problem and refine to one main idea.

  6. Communicate the proposed solution to a broad group of stakeholders in an engaging way.


  • Our Point of View
    Stanford Innovation Lab
  • Design Thinking for Educators
    Produced by IDEO, The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators contains the process and methods of design, adapted specifically for the context of education.
  • Design Minds
    Design Minds achieves this by explaining design, inspiring through resources and empowering through design thinking toolkits. Design is presented as a process in its simplest form: inquire, ideate, implement and at each stage evaluate.
  • Bruce Mau Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
    Manifesto outlining design process
  • Olin College Scope
    SCOPE is the culmination of Olin’s project-based curriculum. Seniors work in multidisciplinary teams of 5-7 students on challenging, full-year engineering projects for partnering corporate sponsors.
  • MIT Media Lab
    Unconstrained by traditional disciplines, Lab designers, engineers, artists, and scientists work atelier-style, conducting more than 350 projects that range from neuroengineering, to how children learn, to developing the city car of the future.
  • Design Thinking Network


Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” —Tim Brown, president and CEO

Design thinking is a deeply human process that taps into abilities we all have but get overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. It relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to express ourselves through means beyond words or symbols. Nobody wants to run an organization on feeling, intuition, and inspiration, but an over-reliance on the rational and the analytical can be just as risky. Design thinking provides an integrated third way.

The design thinking process is best thought of as a system of overlapping spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps. There are three spaces to keep in mind: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Inspiration is the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions. Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas. Implementation is the path that leads from the project stage into people’s lives. (IDEO definition of Design Thinking)

Where Good Ideas Come From

Subject Guide

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library