Design Thinking Student Blog_9.30.2014

Design Thinking

By Emily Stenz

If you’re wandering the halls of SoHE on a Thursday evening, you may see groups of students drawing mind maps on white boards and writing a lot of things that start with “how might we…”. Curious about what in the world they’re doing?

In short, they’re thinking. But it’s not just any kind of thinking, it’s design thinking.

What is design thinking, anyway?

It’s a difficult thing to define, but it’s basically a way of problem-solving, and using a design minded process to come up with unexpected solutions to sometimes seemingly simple problems.


DT GroupThe goal of the Design Thinking class, taught by Lesley Sager and Amy Duwell Brockdorf, is to utilize a human-centered approach to solve a problem in the village of Gatunga, Kenya.


This past week, the class focused on finding potential problems in the community, and beginning to think of overarching themes of how they could be solved. Aniceta Kiriga, who is from Gatunga and is a leader in the community, gave us some insight on how daily life is in her village.

She even showed us some hand-made items from her area, which were modeled by Eric (below).


DT EricAs the semester continues, each group will use the design thinking process to solve a problem in Gatunga, and find a way to implement a solution.

Check back for weekly updates on how the projects are progressing! You might even see more of Eric wearing traditional Kenyan garb.

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