Teaching Design Thinking
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Teaching Design Thinking



Dr. Charles Burnette created iDeSIGN, a Design Thinking course for children. He freely shares this information on his website idesignthinking.com. This is a transcription of the podcast, A Platform ...

Dr. Charles Burnette created iDeSIGN, a Design Thinking course for children. He freely shares this information on his website idesignthinking.com. This is a transcription of the podcast, A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking.



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Teaching Design Thinking Document Transcript

  • 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Teaching Design Thinking Guest was Dr. Charles Burnette Related Podcast: A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsCharles Burnette received his BA, MA and PhD degrees from theUniversity of Pennsylvania where he was also a Research Associate doing research on the uses of information during design. A licensed, award winning architect, he became Director of the Philadelphia AIA, founding Director of the Center for Planning Design and Construction in Philadelphia, and Dean of the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin. He returned to teaching to become the Director of the Industrial Design Department at the University of the Arts, both while co-directing the Design Based Education K-12 Program. Thegraduate program was conceived and implemented to explore thedesign thinking model and to demonstrate its potential in acomputer support system for interdisciplinary design.Dr. Burnette has been a frequent speaker in European designschools and at the European Union’s Cumulus Program on DesignEducation, and is widely published on topics such as designmanagement, design systems, ecological design and designeducation. He is now writing a book about the design model, itsfoundations in cognitive science and its application.The seven principles of Dr. Charles Burnette’s IDeSiGN: 1. I is for intending 5. i is for Innovating 2. D is for Defining 6. G is for Goal getting 3. e is for Exploring 7. N is for kNowing 4. S is for Suggesting A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Transcription of PodcastJoe Dager: Welcome, everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business 901 podcast.With me today is Charles Burnett. Charles is a licensed,award-winning architect, design researcher, frequent speaker andteacher of Design Thinking. A storied career in design and Imhonored to have him on the program.Charles, could you update with me, with what you are doingpresently?Charles Burnett: Im primarily writing, at the moment, aboutDesign Thinking. I talk a bit, but not that much, now. Barcelonawas the last time in November that I was really overseas with it.Im really doing what I should have done a little earlier, which isget it all in writing in a way thats digestible to people.Joe: Is there a book in the making?Charles: Yes, but its been in the making for a number of years.Dont count on publication tomorrow.Joe: What intrigued me about your background is your teachingin Design Thinking and especially with younger people. Youdeveloped a design-based education K through 12 model. Whatprompted that at the beginning?Charles: Basically, thats where we have to start. We have tostart with kids and teach them the value of Design Thinking andthe critical thinking that comes with it. Design is just a lot of fun.Kids really need that in their daily educational experience, too.They need to have a goal-directed kind of efforts, their owngoals, mostly, fulfilled in ways that they have actually broughtabout. They really need to learn by doing, and its a nice way toget Design Thinking out there. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: Is the program still being utilized?Charles: Here and there, and every now and then theres aninterest to start it going again, for example, in India andColombia and places like that. Korea. Im no longer at theuniversity, which is where most of my work, in this area, wasdone in the K through 12.I got very interested in what the design council in England wasdoing to bring design into the national curriculum, which itsucceeded in doing. We set about to bring design into theclassroom around the university and move from there on toteaching teachers and statewide programs and things like that.It was very important to me, to simply influence a youngergeneration to take over and go with it. Take advantage of whatpowers it offers.Joe: Design Thinking seems to be the rage now with IDEO andService Design Thinking. You seem to have done a large part ofyour work beforehand. How do you think Design Thinking hasevolved and why the popularity, now?Charles: I think people realize that just doing things the same-old way isnt necessarily the right way to go. The problems aredifferent. They have to improve the circumstances they confront.Problems are more complex.There are a whole lot of reasons, more or less; design has tocome into play now. Its not just the pretty little detail on aproduct or even the product itself anymore. Its the bigger issues.Service Design is a common one in a very strong way. A lot ofother recognitions are coming out.Business schools are realizing that they have to have a way toimprove circumstances. Design is that way. Its a broader, moregeneral thing than most people think of. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: I find your iDesign model intriguing, and you related it topurposeful thinking so much. So many people think design, is theartsy type stuff, is all about the free spirit; its not purposefulthinking, but you look at it that way.Charles: To me, Design Thinking really extends purposefulthinking in a way that makes it more innovative and more aimedat higher values; improving the world, improving any problemthat you address. Coming up with a new scientific answer, oreven a new song, is a creative act, and it involves DesignThinking, whether people understand it that way or not. You candesign anything. You can design a house. You can design aproduct, and you can design an experience.You still use the same mental skills, and attitudes, and ways ofworking to do that. Theyre specialized by discipline or goal, byand large, but theyre still there. The same mental capacities areinvolved.Joe: What have you found the best way to introduce teachingDesign Thinking to someone?Charles: Getting them engaged in the process of designing,getting them engaged in a collaborative design process. What Imean by that is, working with other people to design somethingusing a formal, structured method, the one that I call the"iDesign" model.The reason its formal in structure is that it gives peoplesomething to hang on to and to talk through. Its sort of alanguage. Its a way of saying, "Oh; Im talking about this now,"and youre only talking about one aspect of the problem. Its anaid to communication; its an aid to thinking. Its also necessary.You have to do all the things in the model to really do anythingpurposeful. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsCrossing a street is one example I like to use because its sosimple. You never think of it as involving design, purposefulthinking, or Design Thinking, but it truly does. To give you anidea, or a quick summary, you have the need and desire to crossthe street. You have to get the information about the conditionson the street and your relationship to them. Then you have todecide what critical relationships are. How fast are cars moving?Whens the light going to change?All of that and then you have to come up with some plan, aproposal of what youre going to do. You have to do it, and thenyou see as you do it, whether youve done it well or you need tomake a course correction in the process. Then youd evaluate itand say, "Well, Ill never do it that way again, or Ill wait for thelight instead of running across."All of those things are different ways of thinking about the samething, just crossing the street.Joe: Did you develop the "iDesign" methodology?Charles: Yes. Its actually based on my PhD dissertation. It wasbasically a computer approach to architectural communications,but in order to explain the approach I came up with a problemsolving method. A way of getting people involved in the processbecause it was just evident, to me, that they wouldnt understandwhat I was talking about unless they experienced how it worked.That led to the teaching of models and using it at college levelsand experimentally, even with companies.Ive used the model in many countries, in different schools andthings like that. Its been a very interesting way to go from astudy of architectural communication, in effect, to actuallyproblem solving. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: Do you feel that theres a difference in the "iDesign" modelversus lets say PDCA or the typical scientific methodology inproblem solving?Charles: Its interesting because the scientific model is anotherform of the Design Thinking model. You cant really disclose orwrite a scientific report, without using every distinction in themodel.You have to explain what your goals were. You have to say whatthe facts of the case are. You have to come up with therelationships youre going to consider. Y have to describe theexperimental situation and the actual way you conduct theexperiment and your findings and what their significances are.All of those distinctions are just the same ones you use in DesignThinking. Science and design are not that far apart. Business anddesign arent that far apart, either.Joe: How would you approach adults differently? Do you use thesame basic methodology as you do with the K through 12 model?Charles: Sure. Theres one way in which Ive used it to teachteachers. What I mean are university professors in ways tocollaborate and use the Design Thinking model. One of the waysthat I do it sometimes is with table cards. Where there are sevenpeople that sit around a table and each one takes the role of acertain way of thinking, and theyre responsible for it. They haveto come up with things that relate and solve the problems thatthey all mutually decide to address.Each one actually plays out the role that their cards represent.Other people see what their role is and they contribute to it.Before long, theyre talking and helping one another. Theyre allusing the system to design. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIf you take a team in business, and you put together sevendisciplines, all of them really distinct from one another withresponsibilities for their own discipline and they start trying tosolve a problem together. Youre going to do better than just oneperson from one discipline. Thats part of the whole idea.Joe: Kind of the Edward De Bono type of six thinking hats there.Charles: De Bonos done a lot of things that are quite related tothis, the hats, for example. Every person wears the hatrepresenting a different mode of thought.I think what the iDesign method and the way of working with therole--oriented problem-solving approach does, is it brings it alltogether in a very, usually understood way. Even kids canunderstand the ideas behind it and use it.In Korea, we developed a whole website to support early-childhood learning, perhaps a little too early, from my point ofview. The idea there is they have a lot of time with the kids afterschool, and the parents want them to learn all the time, all daylong. So, theres a real demand for that over there, where thereisnt in the US, possible to develop a computer-based thing inwhich interactive role playing was part of it, and showing howeach role contributed to the solution of a problem.Joe: This can be done and learned virtually?Joe: Oh, yes. I dont know exactly whats happened in theKorean model anymore because my former student, wholaunched me into it, left the company. They pulled down theanimation from level to such a point that Im not sure they reallyimplemented it, as well as she had done when we started it off.Im not sure exactly where they are now, is what Im trying tosay, but its a very big program. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: I always think of engineers. Should they receive moretraining in this type of design, or something similar to this model?Charles: I think everyone comes close to it. How can I say thatwithout sounding totally arrogant? What I mean to say is,Engineering Design is Design Thinking. They have their own wayof doing it, but if you really get down at what theyre doing, youllfind that in all of it, these things are there. Theyre just not drawnout as clearly, I think, as the model does.Joe: The reason I ask that question is because much of today is,its gotten so cheap to prototype, so inexpensive to iterate and tosolve problems by bringing the customer in with the differenttools and methods that we have nowadays. Sometimes, lessexpensive to go out there and say, "Lets try it," or "Lets show itto a customer," versus completing a complete model and makingsomething very formal. That is at the essence of most DesignThinking is prototyping and involving the customer.Charles: Absolutely. Thats part of the model as well. In otherwords, just whole idea, though, is that you dont even get arough model unless you have some idea of what youre trying tomake it represent. All the thought processes go into even thecrudest thing, and if you prototype faster, terrific. Thats reallygood because it communicates well, three dimensionally, andoften scales.In fact, I used to teach industrial design, and ran a departmentand a graduate program in Industrial Design. Part of theprocesses was that we taught were very much the kinds of thingsthat youre talking about. We even created new ways of blendingdifferent elements of the design quicker, so that we could seewhere we were going and what we could integrate, and all thosethings.The issues in design are not...You dont really make the finalthing anymore, the first shot. Everybody knows that. The A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsmodeling methods can go from anything, paper. Frank Gehrys anexcellent example of an architect who uses every single way ofrepresenting his ideas that he can come up with, the mostsophisticated computer representations, usually at the end ofthings rather than at the beginning.Joe: I was a young engineer, probably 26, 28, out in the fieldworking on a product, and I did not appreciate what some guytold me at the time. He had years of wisdom, an older guy. Hesays, "Engineering really never starts until you turn the key." Ittook me years to understand that. It was part of my maturitylesson, but its something that I always remember. I think that isso true, is that until it gets in the customers hands, until you seeactually how its used...Charles: Absolutely. Also, going back to the education thing abit, kids need the opportunity to fail without it being somethingthat hurts them. Design, because it entertains failure so often,really is a good way to go. If youre trying to do something thathasnt been done that way before, you always have a chance ofnot doing it well enough. Thats the chord here. Thats your point,I think.Joe: Yes, and I think the other part is that now that weve beenmoving from a goods--dominant type logic thinking, a product--centric thing; into a service economy, design has also movedfrom the rear of the process to the front of the process; it seemsto me. I think more people need to be trained in design. Thatswhat intrigued me, because there should be simple methods thatyou can introduce to people.Charles: I think that once they see the issues involved, peoplelearn really quickly. If you can get them to collaborate while theylearn, extend it into their institutions or companies, then thatseven better. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWe used to bring teachers for a summer institute to teach themfor a couple of weeks the processes of designing that related totheir lesson plans and everything else. The next year, wed getthem to bring five of their colleagues back for the same thing,and help them get grants and things to keep on going.But trying to institutionalize the whole process, its very hardwork. It is very discouraging. Because its hard to just get it intothe minds of people that control the curriculums in schools. Samething in companies, people who are used to being successful inone way continue to be that way without realizing that they couldimprove what they do.Joe: Im a sales and marketing guy. I look at Design Thinking,and the tools as great tools for sales and marketing people tolearn, because you stop looking at yourself internally a to theexternal, the customer so much better. In your background, yourexperience, have you seen where this makes good evidence forsales and marketing to learn Design Thinking?Charles: My opinion is it ought to permeate the company, all theway from the main office right down to the janitor or whatever.Toyota taught us that everybody on the assembly line couldcontribute new ideas, and I think thats really true. Its not justsales. Its everybody that ought to learn about Design Thinking,but sales definitely.If you look at sales and marketing, theyre right at the hub ofDesign Thinking, how you communicate what its all about, whatyour product or your service or whatever youre trying to marketor sell is.We have a little character in the animations in Korea called MaryMedia. She was basically the person who explained everything toeverybody. If thats not sales and marketing, I dont know whatis. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsFor sure, the central part of design is coming up with therepresentation of what you want to do for the thing itself. Todaycommunicates very well to their intended audience, the customer,whatever.So, its key for sales. Its key for production. Its key foraccounting. Its the key for resource specification. Everything thatone does to create a product or service could benefit from DesignThinking.Joe: Could you briefly go over the iDesign model and what itstands for?Charles: The iDesign model, you can explain it in as complicateda way as needed, or as simple a way as needed. The first part ofthe model is intentional thinking. What it is, what’s your goal?What are you concerned about? What do you want to do?The next part of the model involves referential thinking. Whatkind of resources? How do you describe them? How do you definethem? How do you find them? You really are looking for thethings that might help you reach your goal. If your goal is tomake something that wont show stains, then it depends on whatthe problem is, but it runs all over the place. Stainless steel is aresource for some things, and so forth.The third part of the model is analogical thinking. Its associatethinking. Its centered all the things that brings ideas out asnetworks and is expressed in networks or linkages between onething and another, and thats called relational thinking in themodel.There are seven parts, and Ill tell you why in a minute but thefourth one is formative thinking which is how you express yourthoughts and how you express your proposals and theconclusions that you think youll reach, how you project the wordto the audience, how you use the media that are available to you. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsI mean, language is one medium but so it television and whathave you. You have to represent your ideas for the medium andthe audience, of the user that youre addressing.Then there is procedural thinking, a kind of time sequence. Whatdo I do next? How can I be a better craftsman? How can I reachthe state of flow where Im doing everything at the best of myability and being challenged all the time?After that there is evaluative thinking, where youre constantlyjudging what youve done with respect to your intentions and thesituation that youre in. Evaluating what you achieved and goingwith it that way.Then the final one, the seventh one is reflective thinking whereyou commit your prior thoughts to memory, you edit them, oryou assimilate them into what you already know. When you comearound again to a new situation which always occurs in theformative thought, your perceptions then you use reflectivethinking to call on what you know to interpret what youreexperiencing.So, that starts the whole process and usually if you want to keepon going with that train of thought once you have interpretedyour situation from reflective thought, and nothing is wrong. Youunderstand it because youre there and then theres no realstimulus for intentional thinking because you already have theknowledge that you need.But if you went into a slight need or desire of any type, thenthatll kick intentional thinking and the process starts going again.I dont know if I gave you a model of the kinds of thinking butalso a bit of a clue about how they work together or get startedand kick one another off.Joe: Oh, I think you do, and you mentioned in there, why arethere seven? A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsCharles: Well, it is short-term memory, or you have seven plusor minus two, the magical number seven plus or minus two.One of the things I did early on was to get every sort ofcategorization that I could find of things that attempted to becomprehensive. All of those invariably you could map them intoseven plus or minus two distinctions. Nobody wants to pay anyattention to more than that.Joe: What would you like someone to take away from thisconversation as far as from Design Thinking? If you could leave amessage with someone, what would you like it to be?Charles: Well, try it out. Go to Idesignthinking.com and pretendyou are who you are and just use the information, whether youare a teacher, a student, or anything, and youll find that itsuseful. Or if you can get seven friends to sit down and role playthen do that.I have a set of table cards that I often send to people, which aregreat because on one side they say what youre supposed to doand what youre responsible for. On the other side, they say thesame thing, but they are pointed towards the other people in thegroup. The group can teach themselves to use this model just bythemselves.Say going into a company that decided they started a little sideexercise in Design Thinking but just do this with seven peoplewho wanted to do it and have a little group and then a largergroup.I have done it with 50 people at a time so anybody can use it justto think with or to write with, to structure their writing or tocollaborate with others or to compute with. It is very computer-oriented. It started with computers to begin with. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: If someone wanted to learn about iDesign, is the websitethe best place to learn about it?Charles: Unfortunately, now it is. I have a bunch of papers thatI have been putting on academia.edu deal with different aspectson it that Im trying to address in this book. There are papers onemotions, on philosophy, on things that have to be in any theoryof Design Thinking and a short version of design theory itself,which was prepared after I went down to do a talk or to aworkshop in Australia.I think there are issues when you come to a conference onDesign Thinking you think you understand Design Thinking, andyour mind isnt open to any kind of systematic approach to it. Itsmore open to what you think about it.It takes a bit of doing to get people to open their mind to thepossibility that the little seven-part theory could help them getinto the swing of things with Design Thinking.Joe: I have to ask you one other question that came to mymind. I look at engineers, and I look at the other disciplines ofwhat I would call design, and it seems that architecture alwaysare the people that really dig into design and talk about DesignThinking. The others talk about engineering or the other kind ofstricter disciplines. Why do you think thats so? Why do you thinkarchitecture has always been out there with the Design Thinkingconcepts?Charles: I think its because architects get the broadesteducation conceivable in any discipline because they tend to haveto deal with all the problems in construction, and they have todeal with all the problems with landscaping. Its a broader culturethat they have to have. They have to understand art. Its a broaddiscipline that touches a lot of the bases, one of the besteducations in the world; I think. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIm a former dean of the School of Architecture, so I hope youdont mind if I say that.Joe: No, not at all. I also think that architecture has a tendencyto be more of a people discipline versus engineering. Would youagree with that?Charles: Yes, I really would. Engineering tends to have amindset in the procedural thinking way of Design Thinking. Inother words, they are interested in function, process, production,and things that are important. Dont get me wrong.Engineering design can be fabulous. They can come up withthings as creatively as anyone else. I mean, just look at theSegway Scooter, for example. Thats almost a purely engineeringachievement and there are many others too like that. I think theycan be as creative as they want to be from their disciplinary pointof view.I do agree with you that they tend to be more focused on theproduct and getting it out than on the people who use it, andthats where architecture cant be. I mean, they sometimes are.They sometimes get wrapped up in their own pursuit of style, andthey really have to consider the occupancy of the building thatthey are so busy creating.But as well as they should I think they consider it, but its one ofso many things that they have to consider.Joe: I enjoy you using the example; I dont know if it was onpurpose or not, but using the Segway example because from anengineering perspective, it was a marvel, from a designperspective it never addressed the uses of it well enough to beable to be a popular product. Id say it couldve used more of adesign approach in it. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsCharles: Well, I wouldnt go as far as to give it that bad of a rapbecause it was up against cultural obstacles too. For example,where do you use a Segway? Is it on the street, a sidewalk, orboth? If you were limited to that speed, 12 miles per hour orsomething like that. Isnt that too fast for the sidewalk and tooslow for the streets?There were a lot of conflicts because there was no infrastructureto support the Segway. So when you get it doing things likepolice patrols or guided tours or scooting around a factory to findthings then its in its element. I mean, again no it wasnt aninnovation where the infrastructure issues are well respected. Itwas an invention where you have to have a whole newinfrastructure.I think it was an engineering marvel, and Raymond Loewy had asaying that the "most advanced yet acceptable." Well, yet theacceptable part wasnt quite up.Joe: Well, Id like to thank you very much Charles. I appreciateit. Again, the website on this is idesignthinking.com. This podcastwill be available on the Business 901 blog site and also theBusiness 901 iTunes store. Thanks again, Charles. A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901
  • 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Marketing Systems Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and withingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with." James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providingdirection in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, ProductLaunches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performanceplanning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a singleflexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result betterexecution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with aconsulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtualassistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities toplug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting theprocess as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processeswill become a habit and not an event. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status Lean Marketing Lab A Platform for Teaching Design Thinking Copyright Business901