ESAD (Escola Superior de Artes e Design Matosinhos), founded in 1989, is an Art and Design school localised in the district of Porto. One of the objectives of the school is to educate the students for the importance of the role that design and arts play in the innovation and development of society. In order to prepare their contribution to this, the education of the principles of design thinking are deeply embedded in the curriculum of the courses of the school. ESAD’s approach to design thinking includes ‘thinking of designs’ (visualizing and imaging new realities), ‘thinking about design’ (reflecting) and ‘thinking through design’ (understanding the evolution of society), all three together contributing for the education of a design thinker. With the emergence of the new concept of Design Thinking (now used as a innovation method and written in upper case), ESAD is working on several programmes to apply the insights of DT to other fields, such as engineering, management and secondary education.
Katja Tschimmel, lecturer at ESAD, with her research focus on Creative Thinking in Design and Design Methodology, showed at the d.confestival at the Hasso-Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, how Design Thinking is stimulated at ESAD, and outside the school, through workshops, events, post-graduation courses and specific disciplines.