Design thinking involves a willingness to critique our conception of ‘the big picture’ and how this may be communicated, disassembled or re-envisaged. It involves an unpredictable array of seemingly unconnected activities…and above all it involves the deliberate employment of multiple means of investigation, portrayal, and exploratory communication in order to engage with each of our many intelligences. Finally it involves the emergence of brilliant ideas in a context that people can relate to even if they hadn’t previously predicted it.
Design thinking is a process to find creative solutions and discover new opportunities. It is a way of thinking that maximises observations, limits judgments, and seeks balance. The idea is to build from a variety of perspectives – it’s multidisciplinary.
Many fields including science, art, and business can implement design thinking. It can be used to solve problems, make improvements, organise ideas, and create knowledge. Design thinking is creative, collaborative, personal, experimental, and integrative. It is helpful to define, and re-define problems.
Design thinking requires applying multiple perspectives and asking questions to frame the problem in such a way that creative solutions are encouraged. The ability to do this requires limited judgment and an open-minded, inviting environment. Multiple perspectives and open minds will lead to many options. All options should be considered and new opportunities may surface in the process of trying to communicate and critique these. The team can then work together to identify the best emergent options and go further from there.
Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR is going to work with RISD to incorporate design thinking into aspects of research, education, and public engagement. As a researcher, practitioner, and theorist, Chris Rose is connecting arts, sciences and design for students, educators and policymakers.