The emerging field of “Design Thinking” takes design concepts out of professional realms such as architecture, film, and fashion and applies them to broader society. The process, which focuses on deep listening, holistic thinking, creativity, collaboration, experimentation, and “user” experience and engagement, is being used in a variety of fields (business, education, urban planning, health care), as well as to address issues of cultural, political, and environmental significance. But it doesn’t stop there.
Because Design Thinking taps the creative ideas of the many rather than the few, the process also is beneficial to individuals who are working toward expansive or specific goals. This could be a large, complex goal like starting a business, developing a ten-year career plan, or building a house, or something smaller in scope, such as designing a high-yield garden, inventing and marketing a product, or creating a long-term strategy to improve your health. There are no limits to what can be accomplished through Design Thinking.
In this unique course, you’ll use the systematic steps of empathy, problem definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing to advance your vision, and in so doing, learn the power of collective thinking and that two (or three or four or five) minds really are better than one.
Virajita Singh, assistant vice provost, Office for Equity and Diversity; senior research fellow and adjunct assistant professor, College of Design, University of Minnesota, began her artistic journey before going on to study architecture in India and the US.