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This subject offers a foundational overview of the Design Thinking framework including techniques and methods associated with problem solving and innovation. This course takes a ‘learn by doing’ approach to put the methodology into practice and requires significant group work and practice outside of lecture hours.
What is a wicked problem? How do you know when you have identified a problem worth solving for? More importantly, how do you then solve that problem? What does good design look like? How do you know that your solution is worth pursuing? In this subject we address these questions by adopting a Design Thinking approach and tapping in to the inner creativity and designer that resides in all of us.
Design Thinking is a creative approach to problem solving that puts the end user at the heart of everything we do. It aids us in the innovation process by continually exploring and challenging status quo while focussing on underlying human needs. The subject begins by exploring the foundational framework of design thinking and the mindset required to step outside of your comfort zone and into ambiguity. We highlight the significance of human-centred design principles to understand ‘wicked problems’ including deep empathy through ethnographic research techniques. We examine various forms of prototyping and their capacity to be generative of innovative solutions. We will also interrogate assumptions, generate insights, and transform these into opportunities for innovation. A significant proportion of the subject will be devoted to practicing design-thinking techniques outside of lecture. Students will undertake a critical analysis of a ‘wicked problem’ and use design-thinking principles to create, iterate and test an innovative solution.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- understand and explain the foundational principles of Design Thinking;
- undertake a critical and empathetic analysis of a problem setting;
- demonstrate skills in ideation;
- discuss the relationship between human desires, organizational needs and design characteristics;
- defend and justify design decisions;
- develop comprehensive skills is customer-centric evaluation.
High level of development:
- Develop problem-solving skills through tutorial exercises
- Develop creative ways of solving unfamiliar problems, through the tutorial exercise series
- Learn to adopt new ideas, from participation in the lecture program
Moderate level of development:
- Think critically, and organise knowledge, from consideration of the lecture material
- Plan effective work schedules, to meet the regular deadlines for submission of assessable work
- Present an argument, by reflecting on those presented in the lecture series
Last updated: 18 December 2020