Exploring Design Thinking


A new concept that emerges in current times is design thinking.

The question is how broad is its application. From my understanding, it has been used in the classrooms, as well as  in business boardrooms (Consider Idris Mootee’s “Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What they can’t teach you at Business or Design schools”).

In recent years, some educators, such as Jenn Visocky O’Glady and Ken Visocky O’ Glady in their book “Design Currency”, have  come forward to educate designers to monetise their creativity by defining value for their work  in monetary terms. Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO, also offers his take on the topic in his book “Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organisation and Inspires Innovation”.

Writer Tom Peters also advocates design in this book “Design”, while thinker and author Roger Martin (who has previously published another book ” The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the next Competitive Advantage” back in 2009) and Karen Christensen also co-wrote a book “Rotman on Design: The Best on Design Thinking from Rotman Magazine. 

Design thinking has often been broken down into five phases:

  • Discovery
  • Interpretation
  • Ideation
  • Experimentation
  • Evolution

What is Design thinking then? There is no definite definition.

According to designforeducators.com (which offered some examples of design thinking in action on their website):

It is a mindset.

Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education.

Classrooms and schools across the world are facing design challenges every single day, from teacher feedback systems to daily schedules. Wherever they fall on the spectrum of scale—the challenges educators are confronted with are real, complex, and varied. And as such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches.


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