Design and creativity is the new way to solve global problems!

Is there a right or wrong way to get to the final solution? Truly, the sky is the limit when it comes to creative thinking process. Many companies today use the Design Thinking process to develop the most brilliant ideas and products. New products or services must stand out in today’s innovative, fast-paced tech environment. People can develop great ideas while collaborating in a design setting. Design thinking process is generation of multiple ideas that fennel organically into a result that helps a need of a community.

It was fascinating to observe Design Thinking processes and workspaces during a field trip to d. school in Stanford, Android building in Google and IDEO. The trip was originated as a part of a graduate Participatory Journalism class, at the University of Nevada, Reno.  The atmosphere, work process and workspaces in d. school and IDEO were both screaming freedom of expression.  The design program in Stanford is focusing on global challenges of the complex business and social environments.

IMG_0434Hannah Mensing a product design graduate student took us around the classes in d. school, a combination of workshops that I have not seen before. White boards, sticky notes and sharpies were the most used materials in those classes. Students have the option to work in different arrangements of furniture with various crafty accessories and machinery to produce the idea in mind.

Design process is bringing diverse minds together to develop an idea with creativity, yet with definite strategic goals. The projects in d. school can focus on tech-oriented ideas that match the Silicon Valley professionalism or non-profit projects that will serve the global community of the developing countries. One example that design students were working on was a Nicaragua Fruit-bread project. Project’s direction was developing a solution that Nicaraguan rural citizens can use to strengthen the economic resilience.



I already mentioned the two core principles of design thinking – creativity and rationality. The main principle that Hannah and Steve Bishop from IDEO were both talking about was empathy. During a design process people can be sensitive to the environment. Group members can belong to a different experience stage in which case the leaders should encourage their creativity thinking. The process of creative thinking to accomplish the most original result is a process of full collaboration between the members.


The design process takes more notable effort that the process of project execution. In contrast, the actual time of the project should take three times longer than the brainstorming process. The first step often involves prototyping and figuring of project images. In many cases, the project seems ta take the right direction, but during the execution ideas may hit the “dark knight” space, meaning that results don’t look as they were planned. In other cases, events like that could end a project, but design thinking process allows continuity of creative work towards redirection towards creation of a better idea.


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