The Role of Design Thinking

The first week of the Design (and Innovation) Management Class I teach with Alladi Venkatesh and Raymond Pirouz, as always, reminds me that Design Thinking is at the heart of all innovation. It's not just about designing new products, or even new customer experiences—it’s a different way of seeing the world that results in breakthrough innovation.

This October issue of Fast Company has a number of provocative articles with concrete examples of how this theory translates into innovation today. Products inspired by wasps’ nests and butterfly wings. A computer chip that sucks up a tiny fraction of power and puts the Internet in your hand. Factories for design.

There’s also a terrific video from one of the principals of IDEO which describes many of the same concepts we explore in class: the interplay and the roles of customers, business and design, the importance of storytelling, and concrete examples of new services that were inspired by ethnography—carefully watching how real people really live.

In the world ahead of us, it will be innovation that drives the economy, green technology, and new approaches to the world’s thorniest problems. If you want to be successful in that world, it’s worth taking some time to start seeing and thinking with that neglected part of your brain that’s tapped in design thinking.

(Click here for sneak previews of more talks by innovative thinkers.)  



john said:

this is the recent development,creating the waves all over the world and i SHINMAI CREATOR PROJECT has done exact role of

design thinking, needless to say more nor arque, just amazing invention

A "cybernetic human" robot code-named HRP-4C walks and greets people on the catwalk during a fashion show as part of the opening day event of Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo. The 158 centimeter (62.2 inch) tall black-haired robot, developed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, a government-backed organization, has trimmed down to 43 kilograms (95 pounds) to make the debut at a fashion show. The new walking, talking robot was designed to look like an average Japanese woman, although its silver-and-black body recalls a space suit.

well this lets hope what will be there next invention.

March 23, 2009 5:49 PM
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About Lynda Lawrence

Lynda Lawrence is an innovation consultant with Ideaworks Consulting. She teaches Strategic Innovation and Design Management at the Merage School at UCI, and is an advisor to the Beall Center.