Design Thinking Workshop on Saturday

Photo by Ed Morita

It looks like Saturday is the day to think differently in Honolulu. While one group of educators will be exploring “deeper learning” in Manoa Valley, another group of people are gathering to learn about “design thinking” less than a mile away.

The “Design Thinking” methodology was developed at Stanford University’s design school and championed in the early 1990s by the design firm IDEO. It’s a way of thinking that is still being taught today, and calls for specific steps in a process: define, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, and learn.

There are often a lot of Post-It notes, colored pens, and arts and crafts supplied involved.

Saturday’s design thinking Design Challenge workshop, offered through the University of Hawaii Outreach College’s Pacific New Media program, will revolve around a one-day design challenge. By working through the process, participants will hopefully learn an innovative, iterative process that can be applied anywhere.

Photo by Ed Morita

My first exposure to design thinking was five years ago, after a presentation by IDEO alum Lawrence Shubert sparked a grassroots session at the 2011 Unconferenz. That led to the formation of a Design Thinking Hawaii group on Facebook and countless design thinking workshops ever since.

Leading the charge for design thinking in Hawaii is Oceanit, a science and engineering firm founded in 1985. The company is now teaching design thinking as part of a new Business Transformation Services Division. While they say it came about “almost by accident,” Oceanit has been on board from the beginning. From highlighting the potential of design thinking in the field of education in 2011 to facilitating a design thinking session at last year’s Sustainability Summit, the company has been evangelizing the process for years.

Photo by Ed Morita

The workshop on Saturday will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Krauss Hall room #012. It will be led by my friend and Oceanit director Ian Kitajima, along with his coworkers Raviraj Pare (a Stanford University design school graduate) and Natalie Waters. You can register online (the cost is $195 per person).

If one day is not enough, there’s a week-long design thinking bootcamp coming in June.

Photos by Ed Morita and courtesy Oceanit on Flickr.

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1 Response

  1. July 13, 2015

    […] but also adapting them for commercial or even consumer use. The local poster child for “design thinking,” the firm has created products (and launched startups) out of their work in […]

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