TE401: Design Thinking for Social Innovation, Fall 2019
TE 401: Design Thinking for Women's Health & Well-being, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Guest lectures & workshops across campus
Curriculum Development, Facilitation, Instruction
Senior Design Strategist
Siebel Center for Design
University of Illinois
How might we nurture conditions for people to create together through complexity and uncertainty?
All of my courses, lectures, and workshops at the University of Illinois tackled social needs and issues through an immersive exploration of design thinking. Social innovation seeks to create transformational change in historically under-invested communities at the local to international levels. We know that many social issues are often too complex to be solved by using traditional methods.
A fundamental goal of my instruction was to cultivate the creative, synthetic, and divergent thinking of students while asking them to take on new behaviors of work. Often structured as weekly, project-based studios, students deeply engaged and learned, practiced, and used the tools and attitudes of design: collaboration, experimentation, empathizing, synthesis, and evaluation.
Working in teams was and continues to be essential to establishing trust and building rapport. The work and scaffolding were designed for students to learn and evaluate ideas with one another in a way that will encourage deeper thinking and reflection as applied to social issues.
My various co-instructors and my shared goals are that students will be able to demonstrate their engagement with early empathic stages of design research, be able to give and receive constructive feedback, work collaboratively to practice elements of the design thinking process, express a sense of the ambiguity and iteration necessary in design thinking, and of course start understanding how to design and co-design within a social impact context.