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The Mindset Beyond The Myth – Evaluating Design Thinking Through Workshops

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Diana SCHNEIDER and Kilian MOSER


"This paper aims to unravel the Design Thinking myth by analysing how a hands-on workshop format with urban challenges impacts the participants - design novices with no previous experience applying Design Thinking. Although the hype purposefully built around Design Thinking (Walters, 2011) has been beneficial in bringing about the shift from design as a tactical towards a strategic catalyst of innovation (Wasserman, 2011), Design Thinking needs repositioning (Merholz, 2009), battling the illusion of a simple creative toolbox (Nussbaum, 2011). Through the analysis of a 2-week Design Thinking workshop with 15 cross-disciplinary participants, the authors reveal the three-layered impact of an action-based teaching format to generate understanding (1), ownership (2) and diffusion (3) of the Design Thinking ethos. In conclusion, this paper postulates a concrete role, practice, applicability and teachability of the next generation of Design Thinking, based on action, indirect knowledge incubationand context-dependency."


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 18th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2012


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