On Design Thinking and Beyond

Of late there has been a sudden rise in interest in the propagation of Design Thinking. The impetusĀ  to this has been hugely due to some articles in the Harvard Business Review(last year), andĀ  Businessweek (this year).

If the need of the hour is to think innovation and think beyond the obvious, Design Thinking is definitely an essential tool. A lot of companies like Apple, who are driven by Design, have been doing it for years now. A few more have joined the bandwagon, as mentioned in this another post by BusinessWeek.

Apart from these above, there has been the recent publicly available talk by Tim Brown at the TED conference this year. Brown is evangelizing that Design Thinking needs to go to a much larger scale and also that designers should start to think big.

Everyone seems to be acknowledging it. A few seem to understanding it, and a fewer seem to be to be understanding it. The interesting point about Brown’s talk is that he looks at going beyond the notion of consumerism with which Design has been traditionally associated with.

One of the other great design thinkers, who I admire, and have been a student of myself, Erik Stolterman also talks about the notion of Design Thinking in his blog Transforming Grounds. He also makes the very valid point that Design Thinking is been there since a long time and has found its applications in numerous fields.

I strongly believe that one of the areas where Design can play a huge role is Design for Social Impact. This also happened to be the topic of my Masters thesis at Indiana. The challenges are immense, and the solutions are rarer to find, and that is why Design Thinking becomes important.

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