Design Thinking Workshop & Open IDEO Challenge

Last week, I along with my team from Design Thinking class organized a workshop to introduce students to Design Thinking and also have them participate in the Open IDEO’s “The Higher Ed Challenge”.

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The details of the challenge could be found on the Open IDEO website.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 2.38.41 PM.pngDesign Thinking is a five steps process with significant effort going in the “Empathize”, “Define” and “Test” steps, but due to the limited time we had to conduct this workshop and also since we were already given the problem by Open IDEO, we focused on “Ideate” and “Prototype” steps.  We gave students around 20 minutes to brainstorm ideas for solving the given problems. In order to help students brainstorm Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 2.57.02 PM.pngin a productive manner, we showed them a demo brainstorm process for “how to improve our school cafeteria”. We wanted them to have constructive brainstorming not destructive. We shared 7 rules to facilitate collaborative brainstorming.

Then we asked them to vote on the idea they would like to prototype. For prototyping, we brought all sorts of art and craft stuff. We gave them 30Team4 minutes to build a prototype. They could draw, cut/paste, build mock ups – anything that could help get the idea across. We had four teams with 4-5 members. Each team came up with very creative and thoughtful solutions. We also made videos of students describing their ideas. Finally, we uploaded the ideas along with their description, pictures and videos to the Open IDEO website.

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Everybody had a lot of fun working with students from different schools at Cornell. We also enjoyed sharing our learning from the Design Thinking course. I think teaching makes you even better learner as it forces you understand the concepts and ideas to their depth, so that when someone ask you questions, you are well prepared and confident. I would like to thank our instructor for this course – Tracy Brandenburg, teammates and participating students to make it a memorable experience.



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