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Developing the Design Mind: An Introduction to the Process of Design Thinking

Session 1
Christian Long, Laura Deisley, David Jakes — Cannon Design, Chicago IL, (Christian), The Lovett School, Atlanta GA (Laura Deisley) and Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, IL (David)

This conversation engages participants in a holistic treatment of the design thinking process, and helps them to begin developing a design mind, one that sees problems and issues always as a design problem. Participants will form design teams, and use the process of design thinking to address a contemporary issue surrounding education (design provocation). Embedded in this conversation will be strategies to help participants vision design thinking as a 21st Century pedagogy, and one that deeply engages students in developing solutions to human needs. Additionally, other components that support the process, such as developing the types of learning spaces that support such design thinking, will be addressed. After developing a prototype solution, participants will have an opportunity to share and receive feedback on their designs.

Conversational Practice

The design thinking process begins by deeply immersing people in a human need Once that need is understood, the process then focuses on ideation to develop and extend ideas that contribute to a potential solution set. From this set of ideas, one is selected to explore and develop a prototype that can address the problem that needs to be solved. Through an iterative process, the prototype is tested and improved, and a solution emerges that successfully addresses the initial issue.

This session immediately engages participants by immersing them in the process of design thinking. The very nature of the word design is to promote an action, and participants will form design teams to address a design provocation. Participants will be given a design challenge to explore in their teams, ultimately using the design thinking process to arrive at a potential solution to the original problem.

The role of the three facilitators is to introduce each part of the process as the process naturally unfolds and guide the teams through each phase as they address the provocation.

After engaging in the process, their designs will be shared and all with offer a critique. The goal is to capture their ideas to the design provocation and make them available through a variety of social media.

The design thinking process can also be thought of as a true 21st-Century pedagogy. It is our hope that participants will extend their developing understanding of design thinking to consider pedagogical applications. Our discussion through the experience will encourage that. We also plan on challenging participants to consider the role that classroom space plays in supporting and illuminating this process within the context of student learning.

The Educon experience itself is about ideation. People attend to be challenged and to leave with potentially transformative ideas. This conversation contributes to that by providing a framework for the continued exploration of those ideas, and for the development of new ideas, designed to provide solutions to the issues and challenges we face in education.

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