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SRS554: Design Thinking: Creative Workshop

Design thinking is a problem-solving process that has led to many innovations in fields ranging from medical products, to engineering, to education, and even to children's toys.

Design thinking is a problem-solving process that has led to many innovations in fields ranging from medical products, to engineering, to education, and even to children's toys. Some of the key ideas within the method are designing with a human-centered approach, using prototypes to facilitate design decisions, and embracing design refinements based on feedback. Students at Stanford, a leader in design thinking, used the method to design a low-cost infant warmer that reduces infant mortality in developing countries. Other students have created products featured on Kickstarter, such as a self-watering kitchen garden and a reinvented bicycle bell. At the start of the term, students in this class will learn about and apply each of the aspects of design thinking in a series of small projects in which they will work together to create solutions to real-world needs and problems. These projects will ask students to interview others to learn of their needs; to ideate with their peers to identify possible solutions; to build prototypes early and often; and to incorporate feedback to improve their design solutions. Tools and materials appropriate to making prototypes will be available. In the latter part of the term, students will choose their own larger-scale projects and spend the rest of the term developing them. They will have the class group for support and collaboration as they work through their projects individually or with a partner.