Design Thinking Overview

  • Our comprehensive design thinking approach develops the students in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity; skills that they’ll need to be successful in the global economy of the 21st century.

    Design thinking is integrated into the curriculum, the projects students work on, and the way the school operates and continues to grow.

    We have adopted a four step iterative design thinking process: Discover, Visualize, Prototype, and Present.  Students learn about this process and use it throughout their classes.  Students also learn to build empathy and to ensure that throughout the design thinking process they are keeping the needs of the user in mind.  This will ensure they are designing solutions that best meet the needs of the user.

Design Thinking Steps

  • Discover

    Discover

    Identify and clarify the problem, goal, or intent.  Make sure you understand and solve the right problem.  This often requires empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.  

    • What is the real problem?  
    • How can you restate the problem so that you see it in a different way?  
    • Has this problem or one like it already been or attempted to be solved?  
    • Who else is working on this problem?  
    • What analogous examples can you find?  
    • Who have you talked to?

     


    Visualize

    Visualize

    Capture possible solutions for the problem in a tangible form - words, numbers, images, sounds, movements.  Do sketches, collect photos, take notes - show your ideas.  

    • How good are your ideas?  
    • What ideas have you overlooked?  
    • Do you have a lot of ideas (fluency)?  
    • Do you consider different approaches (flexibility)?  
    • Have you sought out the input and built upon ideas from others (collaboration)?  
    • Do you have a truly unique and original solution that meets and exceeds expectations (originality)?

     


    Prototype

    Prototype

    Make quick, easy, inexpensive mock-ups or models of your best ideas.  Test your ideas in a preliminary fashion to see which have the best potential to meet the needs and requirements.  Practice or rehearse so that you have the skills to carry out the idea.  Try out and experiment with the materials, processes, techniques, and resources necessary for successfully solving the problem.

     


    Present

    Present

    Make a visual and verbal presentation of your results in a clear and compelling manner.  Create a presentation model, prototype, or exhibit of your ideas.  Show each step of your process and answer any questions that need to be addressed before your solution can be implemented - materials, cost, time, unintended consequences, resources, budget, timeline, roles, responsibilities, etc.  Tell a story that is compelling and motivating.