THE ART ROOM
AMY BONNER OLIVERI
ALLENDALE COLUMBIA SCHOOL
Design thinking is a
methodology for creative
problem solving. You can
use it to inform your own
teaching practice, or you can
teach it to your students as
a framework for real-world
What is Design Thinking?
A visual guide
BUILD A CHAIR FOR A LOWER SCHOOL CLASSROOM
USING ONLY CARDBOARD AND PACKING TAPE
Students will empathize with the Lower School students by observing,
engaging, and immersing. Students will interview each class group to find
out what their ultimate needs and wants are.
EMPATHY AND INTERVIEW
Students will utilize information gained in the interview phase to create a
character composite. Students will observe each classroom for 5-10 minutes
at different times of day (before school, break, lunch, end of school). During observation
students will take notes, photos, and observations about the room and how it is used.
Students will rapidly test ideas, models, concepts, using white copy paper.
Students will work to generate many ideas and think divergently.
1. Let your user experience the prototype. Show don’t tell. Put your prototype in the user’s hands
(or your user in the prototype) and give just the minimum context so they understand what to do.
Don’t explain your thinking or reasoning for your prototype.
2. Have them talk through their experience. For example, when appropriate, as the host, ask “Tell
me what you are thinking as you are doing this.”
TESTING PROTOTYPES WITH USERS
3. Actively observe. Watch how they use (and misuse!) what you have given them. Don’t
immediately “correct” what your user tester is doing.
4. Follow up with questions. . This is important; often this is the most valuable part of testing.
“Show me why this would [not] work for you.” “Can you tell me more about how this made you
feel?” “Why?” Answer questions with questions (i.e “well, what do you think that button does”).
TESTING PROTOTYPE WITH USERS
Kindergarteners come in to
learn about the building process
in a studio art class.
They are overheard later in the
week outside a different Upper
School classroom saying,
“Shhhh, be quiet, they’re making
chairs in there.”
SHARING THE PROCESS
Shared with permission from the artist http://roryosullivan.com/
Student: “Mrs. Oliveri, I learned so
much from this project.”
Oliveri: “What did you learn?
Student: “I learned how NOT to build
Go to www.artwitholiveri.com for this presentation and a list of links
to help you get started with Design Thinking
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