About the Day
Designers of all stripes—graphic designers, industrial and product designers, and designers of spaces and user experiences—engage in many of the practices most central to effective communication-intensive teaching and learning. They must respond to real-world audiences, conduct research, articulate good questions, seek and integrate feedback, and demonstrate persistence through recursive iterations of brainstorming, experimentation, and revision. Indeed, in both business and education, Design Thinking has risen to the fore as a powerful tool for developing flexible, responsive solutions to complex problems.
For the 2015 Symposium, then, the Institute invited participants to learn about the strategies and methodologies of designers, and to consider how they might translate to the classroom:
- Keynote speaker Ellen Lupton (Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and Director of the Graphic Design MFA Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore) introduced key questions and strategies designers use to solve design challenges. In roundtable discussions following Ellen’s talk, participants considered how they might reframe existing assignments (or imagine new ones) to ask students to think like designers.
- In a workshop led by Don Buckley (Co-founder of Tools at Schools, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College), faculty became the designers, first identifying a design challenge on campus and then ideating potential solutions collaboratively.
- A talk by Manuel Lima (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Founder of visualcomplexity.com) explored visualization strategies for effective communication of complex datasets.
If you’d like to learn more about Design Thinking and its intersections with teaching and learning, you can explore the resources below or simply be in touch; we’re happy to share more or help you think through a deeper dive in your own work.
- Ellen Lupton’s Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming
- Manuel Lima’s The Book of Trees
- Manuel Lima’s list of online data visualization resources
- Design Thinking for Educators. A partnership between the design firm IDEO and the faculty of Riverdale Country School, this site and its toolkit offer a clear introduction to adapting Design Thinking to teaching contexts.
- To learn more about how universities have integrated Design Thinking into their curricula, you might visit these pages at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Stanford University’s d.School, or Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.