Is ‘Design Thinking’ the New Liberal Art

30Mar15

Radical Collaboration

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Students come to the d.school with an intense curiosity, a deep affinity for other people, and the desire to gain an understanding beyond their own experience. They come from every school on campus, and beyond. Instead of working on different pieces of the same project, they navigate each step in the innovation process together, leveraging their differences as a kind of creative engine. The design thinking process becomes a glue that holds teams together, allowing students to unleash intuitive leaps, lateral thinking, and new ways of looking at old problems.

Our teaching teams, too, combine contrasting view points and problem-solving approaches. All of our classes are team taught by a robust mix of faculty and industry leaders, combining disciplines like computer science with political science, and CEOs with elementary school policy-makers. We believe these dynamic and sometimes contrasting points of view encourage students to see the open-ended nature of innovation and to trust themselves to find their own way forward.

Everyone at the d.school loops through cycles of learning, teaching and doing. Our culture of collaboration means we move quickly beyond obvious ideas. We help each other even if it’s inconvenient. We ask for inspiration when stuck. We play. And we defer judgment long enough to build on each other’s ideas.

 

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