Design Thinking

Design thinking is a problem-solving process that has distinct phases or steps. Many employers and innovation leaders believe this process leads to more creative solutions for both big and small problems. This process has been applied to a range of challenges from addressing issues of poverty to designing better consumer products.  At its heart, design thinking embraces a mindset of questioning assumptions, testing ideas and learning about the "person" who will benefit from the solution. FGSR will offer three stand-alone workshops to give graduate students the opportunity to practice design thinking in an academic context.


Part 1: Building Collaboration for Your Academic Journey
You will apply design thinking fundamentals to build stronger collaborations with peers, supervisors, or industry/community partners.  Collaboration is fundamental to creativity and innovative solutions, and it is a skill valued by academic and non-academic employers alike.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • Define design thinking and list three key elements that support the distinct phases within the process;
  • Use appropriate questions and information to create a persona of the end-user of their academic program which could include their supervisor/advisor; and
  • Practice the design-thinking mindset to support purposeful collaboration. 

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Part 2: The Art of Generating and Testing Ideas in Graduate School
You will apply design thinking fundamentals to tackle a current challenge including problem definition, mind mapping and solution validation. Creative problem solving and critical thinking skills are valued by academic and non-academic employers alike.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define design thinking and list three key elements that support the distinct phases within the process;
  • Use a number of idea generation techniques, including mapping, to create possible solutions for a current challenge; and
  • Practice the design-thinking mindset to support creative problem solving.

Register Here 


Part 3: Mapping your Academic Journey to Enhance the Experience
You will apply design thinking fundamentals to gain new insights as you systematically outline the steps from a determined moment in time to degree completion. This process, known as journey mapping, has the potential to uncover innovation opportunities while contributing to the enhancement of the overall graduate student experience. Innovation skills and creative confidence are valued by academic and non-academic employers alike.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • Define design thinking and list three key elements that support the distinct phases within the process;
  • Use the journey mapping technique to uncover insights and opportunities to improve the overall graduate student experience; and
  • Practice the design-thinking mindset to support innovation skills.
Register Here

 

Presenter:
Justin Pritchard's design journey began 15 years ago while studying and working in apparel design and visual display followed by visual communications. He completed a Design Diploma, Bachelor of Design (BDes) and Master of Design (MDes) terminal research degree at the University of Alberta, and works as a sessional faculty member in the Department of Art and Design. Justin is a Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) and Career Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), and specializes in career and life design. Educating students and professionals on how to apply design in life to foster creativity, curiosity and confidence is what he is known for on and off-campus.