Documentation:Design Thinking

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The term design thinking may have been coined by Tim Brown, industrial designer and IDEO's CEO. He and David Kelley (founder of both IDEO and the Stanford are passionate about bringing design thinking to non designers and operate on the ethos that everyone can be creative.

However, design thinking isn't new and has evolved from a long tradition spanning a variety of disciplines and ways of thinking. A deeper history of design thinking try:


One way to define design thinking is that is is an iterative approach to problem solving that intentionally seeks out people with different perspectives, knowledge, skills and experience to work together to understand and define problems and generate and test possible solutions. Associated attributes include:

  • human centered
  • empathy based
  • generative ideation
  • experiments (or prototypes)
  • successive attempts
  • curiosity driven
  • dependent on failure

Other takes on a definition

Challenges to Design Thinking

Design Thinking= Method, Not Magic: In this (50 minute) webinar Bill Burnett, consulting assistant professor and master in design thinking at Stanford University, shares three barriers organizations face when adopting an innovative culture and how to overcome them. Spoiler alert: culture eats process for lunch.


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