Design Thinking is a term used to describe processes involving the application of user research, ideation, participation and collaboration for problem-solving and innovation in a wide range of cultural contexts. In practice, Design Thinking embraces rapid iteration, prototyping, co-design and participatory design, empathic design, design probes and other ethnographic and user-centred methods. This course makes a critical examination of this domain, considering its processes, products and relationship to other human-centred design methodologies. The course asks students to apply design thinking methods in their own disciplinary practice through conducting research, concept development, context analysis and creative production. Students will also investigate and critically interpret the defining concepts and theories of this domain. This course has relevance to a broad set of disciplines and especially to design practitioners seeking new approaches for ideation, engagement and innovation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Interpret and apply Design Thinking theories, concepts, and processes.
- Creatively adapt to the technical and cultural constraints of a specific context.
- Conduct and interpret user research and apply the findings to a design process.
- Critically reflect on practice and substantiate design outcomes with research and rationale.
Indicative AssessmentParticipation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
User Research report, 1200 words (20%) Learning Outcomes 1,3,4
Design project (50%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Project rationale, 1200 words (20%) Learning Outcomes 1,3,4
Assessment includes periodic critique and review sessions that provide formative feedback on work in progress.
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 42 hours of contact comprising lectures, tutorials / workshops.
b) 88 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Brown, T., & Katz, B. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper Business.
Cross, N. (2011). Design thinking: Understanding how designers think and work. Oxford: Berg.
Kelley, T., & Littman, J. (2001). The art of innovation: Lessons in creativity from IDEO, America's leading design firm. New York: Currency/Doubleday.
Norman, D. A. (2002). The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.
Patnaik, D., & Mortensen, P. (2009). Wired to care: How companies prosper when they create widespread empathy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.
Rapid viz a new method for the rapid visualization of ideas. (2006). Boston: Thomson Course Technology PTR.
Verganti, R. (2009). Design-driven innovation: Changing the rules of competition by radically innovating what things mean. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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