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88 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016
David Kelley (figure 1) is founder of the Stanford—the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at
Stanford University. He is also founder and chairman
of IDEO, the renowned global design company. In this
conversation with Maria Camacho, Kelley discusses
design and design thinking as he and his colleagues
put them into practice at Stanford and at
David Kelley (DK): The word design has always been
a funny word. Fashion designers say they design, and
people who design airplanes say they design, but they
are quite dierent people. One is really analytical and
one is much more artistic. It depends on who you
think came up with the term “design thinking”… it
doesn’t matter to me.
In our minds, it’s a method for how to come up
with ideas. These are not just ideas, but breakthrough
ideas that are new to the world, especially with re-
spect to complex projects, complex problems. That’s
when you really need multidisciplinary teams … and
you really need to build prototypes and try them out
with users (see figure 2).
For us at the, we think of ourselves as
“ground zero” for design thinking. We started using
the term in our world because our students were
saying, “I’m not an expert in anything…” In this
group, there were students who were experts in me-
chanical engineering, and others expert in computer
science, and they were saying to me that they have
trouble in the job market, trouble talking to their
friends, because they are not experts at anything. I
said, “Yes, you are expert at design methodology, at
how you routinely come up with ideas.” I said that
for many years … and then one year I started saying
Maria Camacho, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
In Conversation
David Kelley: From Design to Design
Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
Copyright © 2016, Tongji University and Tongji University Press.
Publishing services by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the
CC BY-NC-ND license (
Figure 1 David Kelley. Photo courtesy of IDEO.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
randomly, “No, you’re experts at a way of thinking,
you’re experts at design thinking.” I said “a way of
thinking,” and then they changed to say “design
thinking” and that caught on for some reason.
All those years I said “You’re experts at design
methodology,” nobody paid attention. They didn’t
take it as a new idea or a novel idea. They didn’t be-
lieve it. For some reason, the words “design thinking”
resonated with them.
Maria Camacho (MC): Why do you think that the
term “design methodology” didn’t resonate?
DK: It sounded too much like other things. There’s
scientific methodology … the word methodology has
many other contexts. And the term design thinking,
with the word “thinking,” was just novel enough
to attract attention. To put the words “design” and
“thinking” together made both ideas new.
Then it took o. Tim Brown wrote his book
Change By Design 1 after that, so now we have a period
in which we are getting to the same point where we
are with design. Everyone means something slightly
dierent by the term. I guess this is OK. It doesn’t
bother me, but I hear people using design thinking to
mean something quite dierent from what I mean.
There are many words in the English language that
people use, and they all mean something dierent by
the same words.
So your focus 2 on integrating the dierent
models of design thinking, I don’t know about inte-
grating them, but I like your notion of trying to syn-
thesize the terms to the point that we know … we can
say what we’re talking about, right?
Larry Leifer talks about comprehensive design.
For instance, take the The is in the
same building as 310 3 . I actually took ME310 in the
late 70s, and it is an important class. However, today
design thinking is referred to in 310 dierently than
at the Both are true, but come at design
from dierent perspectives—310 is made up of engi-
neers, and the draws from every discipline
at Stanford. Therefore, it makes sense that a dierent
approach is called for.
There’s design thinking in Hasso Plattner Insti-
tute in Potsdam, and it’s quite dierent as well. I read
about design thinking everywhere, in dierent pub-
lications. I’m proud of the fact that the President of
Stanford University talks about design thinking with
other educators and leaders.
If you are on Mars and you are looking down at
the Earth, everybody who’s using the term design
thinking looks the same. They all look like people
Figure 2 An IDEO team observing a blind user testing a prototype.
Photo courtesy of IDEO.
90 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016
who are trying to come up with ideas.
So I don’t know whether it matters or not. There
are people who consider themselves designers in the
classical sense and don’t refer to design thinking.
Design has an inherently individual bias, it’s like an
individual sport; design thinking is definitely a team
MC: Then you think designers have something to
learn from design thinking?
DK: You are talking to a funny person. This is my
religion, so I think everybody has something to learn
from design thinking; but I just see it as one tool on
your tool belt. I don’t think it serves everything. You
already have a hammer on your belt. I’m giving you a
screwdriver. I think that a screwdriver is sometimes
useful in addition to the hammer. I think everyone
can use an extra tool, but I don’t think it’s the only
thing that’s important. I certainly appreciate archi-
tects and designers who work on their own, but they
have a dierent point of view about their work and
how it relates to design. They are expressing what
they think.
MC: So is design thinking definitely a team thing for
DK: 100 percent.
MC: And multidisciplinary?
DK: 100 percent (figure 3).
MC: One group that is apparently confused about the
term involves those who began to research design
cognition in the 80s or 90s, like Nigel Cross and Klaus
Krippendorf or others.… They use the term design
thinking to talk about design cognition, and they
published it in that context.
DK: … oh yes, long time ago.
MC: So there is a lot of conversation in discussion
groups about the confusion surrounding what people
are talking about when they talk about design
thinking…. When you studied here at Stanford, I
know that some people were an important influence
on you, people like Bob McKim. McKim was working
on the psychological side of designing.
DK: He’s my mentor; he’s exactly like us. He was
an industrial designer from Pratt and an engineer
from Stanford, and everything that he said became
the foundation for what we’ve said. In my world, he
was the one who came up with … I don’t know if
he came up with the term, but he was the one who
Figure 3 A multidisciplinary duo works together to build an early stage
prototype. Photo courtesy of IDEO.
championed “needfinding,” the idea that design
thinking is human-centered, not technological or
business-centered. That was Bob McKim, absolutely
(see figure 4). So yes, people like that—psychological
people—who are really important, so people like
Albert Bandura, and Bandura’s self-ecacy, are very
much related … so is Carol Dweck. We totally reso-
nate with these people, with the growth mindset and
MC: One of the conclusions I’m coming to is that
those who think that design thinking involves re-
search on the cognitive side of design, and those who
think that design thinking is a method as you do, are
referring to similar things, at least in the origins….
There is a connection…
DK: Yes, there is a connection. There are many lines—
many kinds of families, of people talking about this.
Stanford’s comes from a guy named John Arnold…
MC: And he hired Bob McKim, right?
DK: Right. And then there’s me. In some ways, John
Arnold is my academic grandfather, and his work
is about creativity plus design, and McKim is about
needfinding plus design … Did you read his book
Experiences in Visual Thinking?
MC: Yeah I’ve read it.
DK: He was working on his second book when he
retired, and I was helping him. His second book was
called Needfinding.
MC: What happened?
DK: He had a dicult time championing his ideas
within the context of a university, and decided to
leave and become a sculptor.
MC: So the book didn’t see the light?
DK: There is a draft of it somewhere, and I haven’t
been able to find it.
MC: I think it was bold of John Arnold to hire Bob
McKim. Bob was an industrial designer…
DK: He had two degrees, not simultaneous, but they
were both bachelor’s degrees—one in industrial
design from Pratt Institute in New York, and the other
in engineering here at Stanford.
MC: But when Arnold hired McKim, he was hiring an
industrial designer for an engineering faculty, right?
DK: The big break was here: Arnold was at MIT, and
he was all about creativity. Everything Arnold did
at MIT—he was a psychologist—was about dierent
worlds. The way he made students think dierently
about how to design things was to assume that they
were in a dierent world. He would say, “You are in
this world and it’s underwater, and now design some-
thing that enables you to plant seeds underwater.” You
had to come out of yourself and out of your habits, be-
cause you had to design for a world that there was no
way to experience yourself. That was his way of doing
what we do now—which is to get rid of your habits,
and look with new eyes, with a child’s mind.
The big break in this line came from hiring
Arnold despite how dierent he was from existing
faculty. He was very famous. Life magazine did a big
story on him because of his weird teaching practices
and approach with students. He was also an MIT pro-
fessor. Somehow, he decided that he wanted to move
to the west coast, to Stanford. The university got the
benefit of hiring this creative professor and they en-
joyed recruiting him away from MIT.
So he got here. Then Arnold hired Bob McKim as
a lecturer—not as a professor—and then Bob started
teaching 101, 5 and then Arnold died very young in
Europe, which left McKim here. McKim had a design
practice on the side—just like me with IDEO. Bob was
an independent guy, but decided to join Stanford full
time when he wrote a book and received tenure. So in
1973, Experiences in Visual Thinking was published.
McKim didn’t have a PhD, but he got tenure at
Figure 4 The evolution of design thinking at Stanford. Image © 2016 by
Maria Camacho.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
92 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016
Stanford. The same thing happened with me. I was
hired as a lecturer, and then moved to tenure without
finishing my PhD. Prior to that, it was an anomaly
to find guys with tenure in a top research university
without a PhD. 6 You can’t find that, try to find that
somewhere, it’s almost impossible. That anomaly
allowed us to do the, allowed us to have the
Product Design Program, all that.
MC: So Bob set up the product design program, right?
The thinking around it?
DK: I think so—you could ask Bernie Roth or
someone who was there. Larry Leifer probably knows.
But I give John Arnold credit in my mind for starting
the design program at Stanford, the whole thing.
MC: So the first influence would be creativity?
DK: Yes. And I have the discussion of creativity some-
where in his things.
MC: And then, human-centered design came with Bob
DK: Yes.
MC: And now you are also looking into complex prob-
lems, right?
DK: These guys, all this time, all the way down to me,
it’s been called “product design,” and so they were
really…. McKim in particular was really thinking
about products. He’s very entrepreneurial, and the
thing he loved the most was when one of his students
came up with a product, and went out into the world,
becoming successful and getting the product sold.
That was his total goal.
MC: He was influenced by his education at Pratt, I
DK: Yes. And his own life here was also important.
He became quite wealthy by being a consultant to
two medical companies—Oxford Labs and Chemetrics
Corporation. He designed their products, the indus-
trial design. They were Silicon Valley start-ups. They
became very successful, and he had ownership in
them. So he was very much a product designer.
MC: But after them, let’s say it became a dierent era
… you’ve transcended product design?
DK: We think we’ve moved from design to design
thinking. Well, let’s say we moved from product
design at Stanford to design thinking at Stanford (see
figure 4). Forget the rest of the world. I mean, that’s
complicated—understanding how much influence we
Figure 5 A team prototyping a service at IDEO Chicago. Photo
courtesy of IDEO.
have in this world on product design. And there are
really many changes, to a team sport from an indi-
vidual sport. McKim was all individual.
MC: When did the team thing come in?
DK: The team thing came in when we started the (figure 5). Here’s how it happened: I became
restless teaching here. I have a lot of friends around
the university, and I thought it would be more fun to
teach with my friends around the university rather
than staying home to teach the same thing all the
time. So I taught with an art professor, I taught with a
computer science professor, with a business professor,
and I noticed that the students were really excited.
When I taught with the computer science pro-
fessor, he would bring his students to the class, be-
cause they had to follow him. They were his students,
right? There were three, four or five students that
would take anything the professor taught. That was
Terry Winograd. I had a bunch of students who would
follow me anywhere. And then you had a bunch of
students that just liked the sound of the course.
The first course had three projects. One of them
was to design a video game, and there were just
people who wanted to do that. In teaching those
classes, we saw how excited the students became
doing the multidisciplinary thing, and how they
liked having the other students. This was something
new, compared to the normal fare of students only
working with the same kind of students, all me-
chanical engineering students or all product design
students. That’s how the idea for the came
about…. I saw how powerful it was to have multiple
professors and students from dierent departments.
So I started proposing to the university that we do
that. It took many, many years (figure 6).
MC: And I guess your inspiration must’ve also come
from IDEO, because in real life you were already
working in multidisciplinary teams.
DK: Yeah, sure. I only knew IDEO. Basically, in some
ways, I always thought that what would make me a
better teacher was that I knew exactly what was going
on at the cutting edge of the profession. And IDEO is
the way it is because I started IDEO right out of Stan-
ford, the day I graduated. The only thing I knew was
Stanford, so I made IDEO in the image of Bob McKim
and John Arnold and Stanford. That was the only
thing I knew. And it played very well because of its
One thing that’s interesting is the fact that this
is unique. At that time there was not one of these at
Berkeley, or any other universities. There’s none of
this because of the tenure problem, the PhD problem.
In the commercial world, when IDEO went out and
started selling this, it sounded unique to clients be-
cause nobody else was saying that, because there
wasn’t any other program like this.
MC: Where would you put the industrial design pro-
grams that were going on in education in the same
DK: Well they were uni-disciplinary—they were all
in art schools, Stanford was not … This program has
always been in the engineering school. It had a joint
relationship with the art department, but the center
has always been in the engineering school, so it’s
more about cleverness. Bob McKim was about clever-
ness. Aesthetics entered in the cleverness, but it was
just one aspect of cleverness.
MC: In the meantime, do you think most design
schools were centered on aesthetics?
DK: For sure. There’s no question that they would
say that. And then—if you look—there’s a continuum
today from design schools that are moving toward
this design thinking, and those that have stayed
focused on aesthetics, but they are all in aesthetics
MC: You mentioned how you made the connection
between Stanford and IDEO. Do you think IDEO has
benefited from the research that Stanford has done,
and vice versa?
DK: The university moves at a very slow pace com-
pared to industry. IDEO has about 700 people and so
there is lots of learning there. The big dierence is
that money is changing hands, so IDEO has to contin-
uously come up with new ways of doing things, new
ways of presenting, new ways of prototyping … in
Figure 6 David Kelley and other professors present the to
potential students. Copyright © 2015 Maria Camacho.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
94 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016
order to have the client pay you and be happy
(figure 7).
If the projects that come out at Stanford don’t
turn out to be world changing, there’s no conse-
quence. All we’re trying to do is teach the students
to master the process. They’re not being paid for
working. So the fact that IDEO is in the industry
makes a dierence…. It’s just a bigger forcing func-
tion to make it excellent.
So I’ve always thought that the quid-pro-quo was
that, is that … there’re maybe ten or twelve people
at IDEO who teach classes here, maybe more. At one
time, there were eighteen. There’re all these people
at the and in product design, there are even
some in mechanical engineering, but the transfer of
that immediately new knowledge, that recent knowl-
edge comes from IDEO to Stanford.
What goes back? Well, the very first thing is the
whole company wouldn’t exist without the Stanford
philosophy. The value system for IDEO came from
Stanford. It had its foundation in the way that Bob
McKim and John Arnold thought. So in some ways,
especially in the early days, the company was in com-
plete debt to Stanford.
Now, having said that, since founding the, there’s a whole bunch of things in the d.
school where the is learning new things and
the way that things are done gets transferred to IDEO
as well. In my opinion, you can just see that the im-
perative for advancing the state of knowledge at IDEO
is much greater than at Stanford. Stanford’s goal is
teaching the methodology to students, getting them
to master design thinking. That’s my goal. I want
them to be masters of design thinking.
MC: Do you have some process in place at IDEO to
evolve the knowledge that you are creating there?
DK: We have tons of things in place for that. All the
sharing that happens—we have IDEO U now (figure 8),
we’re actually doing classes—but the cultural sharing
at IDEO is pretty amazing. There is this thing called
“IDEO Stories” where people tell the stories of what
they’ve learned. There’s “Monday Morning Meetings”
(figure 9). Today we had one, and people stood up
and talked about the projects they’re working on,
and what they’ve learned, and they shared…. There’s
a thing called “IDEO Wow” which comes out every
month, and it talks about the projects and each of the
things around the world.
One of the things that helps with that is we have
to win the work. We have to write a proposal that
explains how powerful design thinking is, and how it
will help your company, so somebody has to get really
good at doing that. That’s more centered in IDEO.
The people writing the proposals talk to each
other. If you learn some new thing about how this
part of design thinking resonates with corporations,
then every proposal that goes out after that has that
in it. And then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy—once I
write a proposal to a company that says we’re going
to do this, we do it (figure 10).
MC: Could you say that you don’t do scientific
research at IDEO, but you do some kind of prac-
tice-based research?
DK: Every project has some kind of practice-based
research. We don’t do what is conventionally referred
to as scientific research that I can think of. We have
people with PhDs that know how to do it, but most of
our research is all in the trying to … We talk to eight
people, not to 100,000. We don’t send out surveys
or whatever. Our research is design research in that
self-reported kind of inquiry—“What do you think of
MC: What do you think of the research that the
Figure 7 David Kelley and team meeting with clients. Photo courtesy
of IDEO.
Figure 8 (Above) IDEO U, IDEO’s online learning platform. Photo
courtesy of IDEO.
Figure 10 An IDEO team facilitates a brainstorm session with
clients. Photo courtesy of IDEO.
Figure 9 The Monday Morning Meeting at IDEO is unique to each
of the locations. Some do breakfast, others host a happy hour. Photo
courtesy of IDEO.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
96 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016
Center for Design Research does here at Stanford?
DK: I don’t work closely with them. I really like a lot
of people there, and they seem to be doing very inter-
esting things. Recently I’ve hired two new faculty into
product design, and they both have PhDs. They are
both doing research, and I expect their research to be
very compatible with our point of view. One is Erin
McDonald. She came from the University of Michigan.
The other is Sean Follmer, who came from MIT.
They are young faculty. The university came to
me and said, “You’re getting old here. Hire some new
people.” So in this track, the next person in line had
to have a PhD … and so that’s Erin and Sean.
MC: So you have creativity as an umbrella. In your
latest book you talk about how creativity is at the
center of what you do.
DK: Yes. It goes this way—design thinking is the
methodology that we teach, that’s the secret sauce,
that’s the thing that is surprisingly eective when we
want to come up with ideas, and we built everything
on that. The result of that is if you take students,
or companies, or anybody, and you get them to use
design thinking as a tool, my belief is that builds their
creative confidence (figure 11).
Before you had design thinking and somebody
gave you a big problem, a very dicult problem,
you’d say, “I have no idea how I’m going to do that,
I’m going to have to hope that I have a big idea.”
I remember those days. You’d say, “I’m smart,
I hope I have a big idea.” You’d think of it as a per-
sonal goal. Once you have design thinking in your
life, you get to the point when somebody gives you a
big problem, you have creative confidence. You say,
“I’ve solved dicult problems before. I know how to
do this. I’ll put a team together. I’ll build prototypes.
I’ll understand the users to get the ideas for what is
really meaningful to the people that I’m designing
for. I’ll bet you that I’d come up with something, with
intention, something that’s successful.” That’s confi-
dence (figure 12).
The way we get people from the notion of design
thinking to creative confidence we call “Guided Mas-
tery.” Guided Mastery is a series of successes at this.
That’s why we have all these projects (figure 13). My
product design students take eight classes, and each
class has three projects…. They’ll have twenty proj-
ects where they’ve experienced this before they grad-
uate from school.
MC: So the business of solving a complex problem,
understanding the problem and redefining it, that
part of design thinking, where do you put it in the
formula? Is it also part of the umbrella?
DK: No, that’s in the specifics of the methodology.
You just said something really important…. I am in
my 40th year at Stanford. One of the things that I
have studied all these years is the design methods
of dierent people. If I were to synthesize all the
methods of all the dierent people I met prior to our
design thinking point of view, it was something like
I took 310, this is what 310 would’ve looked like
in 1976—you’re given a problem; you analyze it, break
it down into its parts, you do some iteration, and then
you synthesize a new possible solution given what
you learned by taking it apart and studying the parts.
You put the parts back together in a new way. Then,
depending on how much time you have, you start
Now you have a new prototype or whatever, a
new view…. And then, when you’re done, you imple-
ment. Usually time runs out, it’s not that you’ve ac-
tually had a satisfying conclusion. That’s the normal
process. The main thing is that the problem is there,
at the beginning of the process.
Figure 12 A user tests a prototype developed by IDEO. Photo courtesy
of IDEO.
Figure 11 David Kelley speaking to employees at IDEO. Photo courtesy
of IDEO.
Where we are now, the thing about design
thinking that is really powerful, is that we put the
definition of the problem in the middle of the loop.
This allows you to change what you are working on.
We call this “the reframe,” and it turns out to be the
place where we usually come up with the big idea.
We’re given the kind of area called “how might we”—
how might we solve this problem, how might we
improve this area of life.
As you go through the process, you see some-
thing new through reframing. You realize that right
next to the original thing you thought you were
working on is something that’s much more important
to the people that you are trying to help (figure 14).
I have hundreds of examples. Take our students
who took the course called Liberation Technology. 7
They go to Africa, where they’ve been hired to look at
fire prevention. They look at the probl em and they
use our method. They go into the village, they inter-
view the people, and they try to understand what’s
meaningful to them. They get to know them, and
what they find out in the village is that what people
are really afraid of is losing their documents, having
their documents destroyed or losing them. A fire that
burns their documents is really scary because the
documents allow them to be in this country, to be in
this building, to get food, whatever. The documents
are important.
So when the students get there, they realize that
they’ve changed the problem from fire prevention
to document preservation. Based on this realization,
they develop their solution to the problem. They start
a company with a pick-up truck and a scanner in the
back of the truck. They go around scanning every-
body’s documents and they put them up in the cloud.
The innovation came from reframing the
problem. We are full of stories like that…. We look at
lunch in high schools. We reframe it in the context
of a new realization—“People don’t care about lunch.
They care about the socialization of being with their
friends.” So we design a fantastic socialization experi-
ence at lunch, and then we slide a little food in. The
problem started as “lunch,” but that’s not what was
really needed.
MC: Could you say that these reframing activities are
a tool that enables designers to be creative?
DK: It’s a consequence of the human-centered ap-
proach. It’s a consequence of the fact that somebody
came up with a problem, but when you go in to un-
derstand the problem by understanding human fac-
tors, talking with the people, the problems are messy.
Designers that use our method don’t just roll over
and say, “Oh yeah … that’s the problem.” They almost
always reframe it (figure 15).
Figure 13 Users testing new service prototypes for Lufthansa. Photo
courtesy of IDEO.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
98 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016
Figure 14 A student’s work in progress at the Re-framing the
problem at the Design for Extreme Affordability course. Photo by Maria
Figure 15 Designers at IDEO work on an early phase prototype. Photo
courtesy of IDEO.
MC: Sometimes you hear that design thinking, the
tools, come from some tools used by designers.
DK: Yes, they do.
MC: So when you say “designers,” are you talking
about those who were trained as industrial product
DK: Any kind of designers. I’m talking about those
who were trained as fashion designers, airplane
designers, any designers in the sense that they do
everything with intention. To me, the definition of
a designer is they do everything with intention. So
designers are perfectly suited to teach design thinking
because that is what they do.
MC: I was trained as an industrial designer, and I
personally do see a dierence. Sometimes another
designer will ask you, “What would you teach about
design thinking to another designer, if it’s the
tools of a designer?” And I still feel there are many
DK: When you put together a group to do design
thinking, there are all these dierent people in there.
There’s a businessperson, a technical person … well
one of these people is an industrial designer, and you
don’t expect them to be like this, but you expect all
these people to buy into design thinking.
If you look at IDEO, there’s a profession called
industrial design, and industrial designers are super
important. They do the magical part in some ways,
they do the artistic part, but that doesn’t make them
more central than the person who has to figure out
what it costs.
MC: Any of those could be the leader of a project?
DK: Any could be. Many times, it’s an industrial de-
signer. We are doing those schools in Peru, the Innova
For the first time I can remember, the business-
people ran it, because what they determined was the
school would be totally unsuccessful if it cost more
than US$100 per month. An industrial designer would
think, “I’ll build the most beautiful school that we
can possibly build.” It would be gorgeous, and make
everything else look like a prison. This school would
be beautiful and function well. But if it costs US$125 it
would be a complete waste of time.
In that particular project, you want the busi-
nessperson to take lead. That’s because they can say,
“No, you can’t do that.” Or they can say, “You have to
be more clever about how you use the teachers. We
have to move them around, because we can’t aord
more teachers. That’s because we have to make our
$100 budget.” It’s just like this here. I’m in charge of
the product design program here at the In a project, there are product designers that go
to the and take its classes, and they play one
of these roles.
MC: And then they’re learning specific things that
they don’t learn in their own design.
DK: They’re learning about this team dynamic,
about how you work on projects in a team…. They
might never have worked on a project that involved
service design or experience design, because they’ve
been making bicycles the whole time. Here, they’ve
been given the experience of taking the train to San
Francisco. They’ve got to learn dierent things, but
they have something to oer. They are very good at
designing the seats, or at designing the experience of
buying the ticket, but everybody becomes responsible
for the whole thing. It’s just that you bring a certain
muscle with you (figure 16).
MC: What do you know about ME310? Why do you
think it’s so dierent to
DK: I don’t know much about 310. I took it in 1976,
but that’s got nothing to do with 310 today. I just
know there’s no overlap between the and
MC: Are you sure about that?
DK: Well I’m sure there’s no faculty overlap.
MC: Conceptually, in the things that are taught?
DK: Whatever is taught in 310 about design thinking
is a version that the faculty there have developed
from their years of teaching the class, and their ver-
sion of human-centered design. This is true for faculty
throughout the country as they update their view of
design and design thinking. When we first started the
Figure 16 All ideas are welcome in IDEO brainstorm sessions. Photo
courtesy of IDEO.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
100 she ji The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2016, 310 continued to be the way it always was. It
was team-based, but the dierence was the problem
statement was given from the client. There was no
needfinding or very little needfinding. There was no
focus on multidisciplinary people. Everybody in the
room was a mechanical engineer.
MC: Nowadays, ME310 has managed to get around
that by bringing in other global schools with students
from other disciplines (figure 17).
DK: Yeah, but if I go upstairs, everybody in those
teams are 310. If you go into a thing, there
are five students; everyone is from a dierent school
in the university. So there are dierences. 8
MC: This is a more personal question. Why has IDEO
become so involved in social problems?
DK: For the same reason the has. I’m not a
“do-gooder.” This has nothing do to with me. I’m not
the one who’s interested in social good. I mean, I’m
interested in social good as a person, but not as an ed-
ucator. The reason for working on social problems is
that if I want to teach students about design thinking
as methodology, the best way to teach them is to give
them a problem that they care about.
MC: So this is for motivational purposes?
DK: Yes, it’s for motivation. For many years, students
didn’t care about social innovation, so I gave them
design problems about bicycles and cars. Now, this
generation, if you interview them, they care a lot
about social innovation. They also care a lot about
sports. In my last class, students had to redesign the
experience of going to a San Jose hockey game. They
were excited about that.
We also gave them problems involving social
good. In my opinion, the social good part comes
from what students want to work on. If I ask them to
design a McDonald’s, nobody is interested. If I have
them design a solar car or a way to recycle garbage,
they are totally excited.
MC: That’s funny. Sometimes it’s dierent in Co-
lombia. I guess that’s the case because it’s a devel-
oping country, and the context is what it is. In Co-
lombia, many students would be more motivated by
working on a McDonald’s project.
DK: That used to be the case here, but it’s not that
way now. I look at my teenage daughter— she would
be oended if the project didn’t have some social
MC: You’re referring to it as social innovation. That’s
another term that’s becoming famous.
DK: The most popular classes at the are all
that way.
MC: It’s very interesting, along with the work that
you are doing with
DK: We were doing those kinds of projects inside
IDEO. Then not-for-profit funders like The Gates
Foundation came to us and said, “Look, if you were
not-for-profit, we’d give you a lot more projects.” We
said, “We want more projects,” so we changed the
company. It’s an independent organization. You have
to quit IDEO to work for mostly
hires its own people, but it’s a separate company.
1 Tim Brown, Change by Design (New York: HarperCollins, 2009).
2 Here, David Kelley refers to Maria Camacho’s research on models
of design thinking.
3 ME310, or simply 310, is an iconic engineering master level
course that has been running at Stanford from the 60s to this day.
Students take on real design innovation challenges from corporate
sponsors and produce functional results in one academic year.
From the mid 2000s, the course is run in conjunction with global
academic partners, adding a level of diversity to the student
teams. For more information see:
4 Robert H. McKim, Experiences in Visual Thinking (Pacic Grove, CA:
Brooks/Cole, 1980).
5 ME101, or simply 101, is another iconic and historic Stanford
course, which has been run jointly for over 40 years by the depart-
ments of Mechanical Engineering and Art. McKim called it “visual
thinking” after his book, and it is an introduction to design and
6 Here, David Kelley describes the PhD degree as a common
standard for hiring, tenure, and promotion at North American
research universities. Hiring and tenure practices differ in other
nations. In some nations, general labor laws make academic
positions permanent based on responsible performance for a
designated time. In these nations, labor law treats academic
workers in much the same way as factory workers or government
administrators, and it serves as the equivalent of tenure. The PhD
degree may be a condition for appointment to some academic
positions without being a condition for permanent employment.
Figure 17 ME310 students working at the Photo by Maria
At some research universities, signicant achievements, research,
or publications are a sufcient basis for promotion to full professor
with or without the PhD. In some universities outside North
America, promotion to full professor is also treated as an adminis-
trative promotion for heads of school or deans, without respect to
academic achievement or research. This in turn creates confusion
when deans without a PhD set standards for staff within their
faculties. While Kelley’s comments are valid for North American
research universities in most disciplines, differences on this issue
make it difcult to compare the situation of design academics at
Stanford with design academics at universities in other nations. In
most North American research universities, the MFA is considered
the terminal degree in art and design, and the equivalent of a PhD
for the purposes of hiring and promotion. The PhD remains the
standard degree in engineering disciplines.
7 The Program on Liberation Technology is a course that “seeks to
understand how information technology can be used to improve
governance, empower the poor, defend human rights, promote
economic development, and pursue a variety of other social
goods.” See for more informa-
8 Nowadays, ME310 clients present more open briefs; re-dening
the problem and neednding are crucial elements of the design
process. Moreover, there is a high level of diversity, with students
working in multidisciplinary and distributed teams from several
universities and countries.
David Kelley: From Design to Design Thinking at Stanford and IDEO
... For example, Waidelich divides "Empathy" into "Understanding" and "Obse vation" phases [89]; Lugmayr et al. modified it according to the context of knowledge the field of media management ( Figure 3) [70]; Henriksen et al. used it in the field of ed cational practice and updated it [90]. IDEO's design thinking process has six stages (Figu 4): Observation, Ideation, Rapid prototyping, User feedback, Iteration, and Implement tion [91]. Here, the Stanford and IEDO design thinking process model will provide th main references for this study. ...
... For example, Waidelich divides "Empathy" into "Understanding" and "Obs vation" phases [89]; Lugmayr et al. modified it according to the context of knowledge the field of media management ( Figure 3) [70]; Henriksen et al. used it in the field of ed cational practice and updated it [90]. IDEO's design thinking process has six stages (Figu 4): Observation, Ideation, Rapid prototyping, User feedback, Iteration, and Implemen tion [91]. Here, the Stanford and IEDO design thinking process model will provide main references for this study. ...
... Here, the Stanford and IEDO design thinking process model will provide main references for this study. (According to ref. [91], this figure is painted by this article). ...
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Abstract Interdisciplinary design thinking and methods are developed based on interdisciplinary research backgrounds. Through cross-integration with other disciplines, it can realize the design’s interdisciplinary collaborative innovation and development. At the same time, with the increasing interdisciplinary research interest in programmable mechanical metamaterials, design urgently needs to produce an interdisciplinary design thinking and method model to guide the development of related design research activities. Based on this, this research uses interdisciplinary research methods (mainly grafts method) to transplant the construction methods and related contents of programmable mechanical metamaterials into the research of design thinking and methods to propose a set of interdisciplinary design thinking based on programmable mechanical metamaterials (IDTPMMs). At the same time, under the guidance of IDTPMM, an interdisciplinary design method based on programmable mechanical metamaterials (IDMPMMs) is proposed. The thinking and method take the IDTPMM and IDMPMM process models as the concrete manifestation forms. Subsequently, this study selected two architecture design cases to analyze the rationality of IDTPMM and IDMPMM. This study believes that the proposal of IDTPMM and IDMPMM can narrow the focus of design research from the traditional macro scale to the micro scale of material research and development, which can drive design innovation with material innovation. Meanwhile, it can also change the design research from passive use of existing material mechanical properties to active programming control of material mechanical properties according to demand, which will greatly enhance the programmability, adjustability, controllability, and flexibility of design research with materials as carriers and objects. Additionally, this will have an essential impact on broadening the field of design interdisciplinary research and innovating design thinking and methods. In addition, IDTPMM and IDMPMM will also provide systematic theoretical guidance for designers to conduct interdisciplinary research on design a
... The alternative furniture was developed using the Design Thinking method from Kelley (Camacho, 2016;Johansson-Sköldberg et al., 2013). The stages used in the design process include empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. ...
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The focus on achieving life balance has been widely discussed in various aspects of human life after the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased stress level results from losing boundaries between work and other aspects of life due to the lack of physical and temporal limitations, causing an imbalance. As one of the world's furniture material producers, Indonesia needs to improve its design's quality for the export market. This paper discussed the solution of interior product design for the European export market as an activity that helps to address the imbalance of human life after the pandemic. The authors applied the Kelley design thinking method through the stages of empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing. The wellness, sustainability, and home sweet home concepts were applied to the design as the emerging megatrends in Europe while also considering the sustainable global cultural and aesthetic aspects. Natural materials from Indonesia were applied with this consideration. The main focus of the design system is on the easy installation concept to achieve product shipping efficiency to the European market. Three designs are discussed in this paper, including the Rotan Storage Credenza, Multifunctional Lounge Chair, and Sisal Lounge Chair. The resulting designs are expected to solve the European market's problems after the pandemic. The designs must still be tested in the market through e-commerce and internationally recognized exhibitions.
... Skema dalam perancangan ini menggunakan skema Design Thinking menurut menurut Stanford (D.School). Design thinking sendiri menurut Kelley [6] adalah pendekatan yang berpusat pada manusia terhadap inovasi yang diambil dari perangkat perancang untuk mengintegrasikan kebutuhan orang-orang, kemungkinan teknologi, dan persyaratan untuk kesuksesan bisnis. Skema ini dipilih sebab seluruh tahapannya merepresentasikan tahapan perancangan typeface dan fleksibel sebab memungkinkan perancang untuk memaksimalkan tahap sesuai dengan kebutuhan namun tetap dalam kaidah yang ada. ...
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Tembalangan adalah sebuah perkampungan padat penduduk yang terletak di jalan Bunga Kumis Kucing, kota Malang, Jawa Timur. Kampung ini memiliki banyak potensi mulai dari sumber daya alamnya, hingga potensi sejarah dan budaya. Potensi sumber daya alam nya adalah berupa daerah aliran sungai Brantas dan adanya 3 sumber air alami yang sampai sekarang masih dimanfaatkan oleh warga sekitar. Potensi sejarah dan budayanya adalah jejak peninggalan peradaban pada era kerajaan Hindu, namun seiring pertumbuhan zaman potensi ini mulai terkikis karena keadaan. Dari permasalahan tersebut, perancang tergerak untuk merancang dan melengkapi salah satu aspek dari usaha mengembangkan identitas visual. Harapannya, usaha ini bertujuan agar desa Tembalangan semakin mudah untuk dikenal khalayak luas, dan dikenal dari karakter yang telah tumbuh di dalamnya.
... Design thinking is a "methodology for creative problem solving", widely used by engineers widely to design new tools (Camacho, 2016). In this paper, we use and apply a design thinking approach to outline and identify key design features (also known as design specifications) of a BPET with the target audience being national and local planners rather than academic researchers or international agencies. ...
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Countries moving towards universal health coverage are challenged about what new health benefits and interventions they will add to their national health programs. Currently, there are three general approaches that countries use to expand their benefit packages: essential services or essential package list; health technology assessment agency driven approaches; and technical assistance and consultancies. Countries need comprehensive, easy-to-use tools to plan the pathway of adding interventions, which we call benefit package expansion. Such tools can complement approaches to benefit package expansion driven by agencies or technical assistance. We propose a new framework organized in three layers (Inner Core, Outer Core, and Mantle, or IOM framework) that outlines the features or characteristics to consider when designing and building a tool for benefit package expansion planning. The layers of the IOM framework refer to: (1) Inner Core-scoping the set of interventions; (2) Outer Core-cost and benefit information of the interventions; and (3) Mantle-additional considerations such as accessibility and documentation. In this study, we use this IOM framework to identify and review four existing tools that may support benefit package expansion. Based on our review applying a decision-matrix method (a modified Pugh method) that is standard in design thinking, we describe and compare the functionality and usability of these tools, their scope of interventions, information on interventions and services, and customizability for local country contexts. Compared to other tools, HIPtool was more comprehensive in terms of interventions and rated higher on Mantle dimensions of user accessibility, whereas OneHealth tool rated well on intervention costs and benefits. There remains a need for a central coordinating entity in the global health architecture to serve as a repository of tools for designing benefit packages for universal health coverage as well as reinforcing the importance of benefit package design as a crucial part of progressing towards universal health coverage.
... From the design thinking process above, there is a separate design thinking unit led by Camacho ( 2016) that has divided the thinking process into 5 steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. The first and second steps (empathize and peruse) of these five steps are deeply understanding and interpreting the problem. ...
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The objectives of this research were 1) to study the value-added model of teak wood products for the elderly among teak wood entrepreneurs, 2) to create prototypes of teak wood products for the elderly. This research is qualitative research. The sample group consisted of 30 elderly people in Don Moon Sub district, Sung Men District, chosen by purposive random sampling method. Interview form was used as the research tool used for the for data collection. The outcome was then taken to the experts in wood products to evaluate the quality. The results were analyzed by descriptive statistics, including percentage, mean and standard deviation. The results showed that 1) the elderly needed 3 types of products: (1) Walker 01/65, (2) Walker 02/65, and (3) backrest chair products. 2) Evaluation results quality from experts in wood products found that the overall quality was at the highest level. The mean was 4.27 and the standard deviation was 0.64.
No one universal affective route leads to creative ideas. Rather, the designers’ affective experience is influenced by the cultural contexts they are in. However, scant research has examined how culture shapes designers’ emotion in creative problem-solving activities. We present two survey studies that explore the interplay between affect, culture, and idea generation. The findings suggest that people tend to associate low-arousal, positive emotion with idea generation in Japanese contexts, compared with high-arousal, positive emotion in American contexts. We also found that Japanese participants expressed more socially engaging emotions, had higher levels of emotional fluctuation, and reported lower levels of emotional expressiveness than their American counterparts. This research contributes to the emerging field of emotion research in design by examining the cultural shaping of affect in idea generation. We call for more cultural research to enable designers to provide insights into the profound roles of affective experience and expression in creative processes and how it may vary across cultures. In doing so, we hope to offer new vistas for enhancing creative performance and enabling cross-cultural collaboration in creative work.
The purpose of companies as profit generators has been questioned because of the relationship between strategy and results in the recent systemic crises. Therefore, it is necessary to implement strategies that allow economic sustainability, based on a better relationship with society and the environment. This means turning companies into agents for the development and protection of the community, as well as building trust for their own stakeholders. This article analyzes the bases for the consolidation of a purpose related to these principles, using system thinking for the integrated participation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This strategy allows replicability based on archetypes that explain dynamic relationships in organizations, with the flexibility and openness required to adapt to different contexts.
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Purpose: The main purpose of this article is to describe an assessment of the effectiveness of the methods used in design thinking (DT) for service design. The analysis includes a tool that, due to the range of data used in service planning, is likely to provide reliable information for service optimization, namely the Customer Journey (CJ). Design/methodology/approach: The key source of economic value is now considered innovation and the use of technological facilities to optimise ongoing economic processes. Such an approach enforces the need to develop methods that improve the efficiency of processes related to innovation generation. DT is considered to be one of them, in which, thanks to the methodology used, innovations are developed by design in an optimal way adapted to customers. One of the tools used in DT is CJ, which is a visualised description of the logical sequence of interactions between the customer and the service occurring at each stage of contact, allowing maximum customisation of designed products or services. Methods and tools are powerful insofar as they are subjected to evaluation, so it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of a given tool by those who use it. This article presents research on the evaluation of CJ effectiveness by the online education community, given the economic importance that the industry is increasingly gaining. Survey research was used because this type of research provides tools for analysing attitudes, views, and opinions and can be used for descriptive, explanatory, and exploratory purposes. The main research objective was to determine to what extent the DT and CJ methods were used and to evaluate their effectiveness in designing services in the remote education sector. Findings: The survey showed that the surveyed group makes significant use of DT in the design of their services, in turn, among those who use DT, the vast majority are familiar with and use CJ. This may indicate, and the research confirms it, a high evaluation of CJ's effectiveness as a design tool. In addition, those who do not use CJ mainly cited lack of familiarity or lack of necessity (low complexity of the service being designed) as a reason, rather than a low effectiveness evaluation. These findings may indicate the high design potential of CJ and recommendations for its implementation. Research limitations/implications: Regardless of the results obtained, it should be borne in mind that the high evaluation examined of the effectiveness of DT and CJ remains an opinion on the subject and not an objective fact, but this is a shortcoming that applies to all survey research. It should also be emphasised that the results obtained are limited in scope; as they 468 A. Maik, G. Osika apply to a single industry, more general conclusions on the subject require extending the research to other sectors. Practical implications: The research conducted in this article has a very practical dimension due to the subject itself, DT and CJ as a method of action and a concrete design tool are pragmatic in nature, so determining the evaluation of their effectiveness by practitioners, because such a group was surveyed, should be considered a measurable guideline for further implementation. In the present research, the scientific goal is combined with the pragmatic goal. Social implications: Due to the fact that both DT and CJ are, by definition, aimed at maximising the matching of products or services to customers' needs, verification of their effectiveness makes it possible to assess their design potential and, in a broader perspective, to predict how much of the expected difficulties can be eliminated. Originality/value: The most significant thing about the research conducted for this article is its contribution to filling the research gap on evaluating the effectiveness of methods and tools used in the service design process, as while DT is increasingly studied and described, there is still little research on the CJ, this study is a small contribution to changing that trend.
This article discusses the design thinking as a tool for developing skills in working with flexible methodologies in the face of rapid changes associated with digitalization. In the era of the digital economy, adaptability is a key characteristic that determines the competitiveness of a company. Agile methodologies are becoming more and more common in product development and project management. In this regard, a question rises of how to prepare modern specialists to work with flexible agile methodologies, instill the appropriate values, and prepare them for teamwork in conditions of uncertainty and risk. One of the possible tools is design thinking, a solution generation technique that supports the values of agile methodology. The main purpose of this article is to review and validate design thinking as a tool for developing the skills necessary to work with agile methodologies. The practical significance of this article lies in revealing the possibilities and potential of design thinking and encouraging to use this technique in the educational process. The article considers the concept of agile methodologies, their principles and features, discusses the role of design thinking as an approach for learning to work with agile methodologies. Analytical materials published in the systems Google Scholar and EBSCO were used to conduct the study. Through a selection of international literature, the article provides the results of case studies, theoretical reflections and reports to improve understanding of the context, opportunities, experiences, application effects, disadvantages and advantages of the design thinking approach in business and education. The study showed that the use of design thinking in the educational process improves the skills of students that are important for working with flexible methodologies. The benefits and challenges of design thinking as an approach that immerses students in the basics of flexible methodologies were identified.KeywordsAgile MethodologyDesign ThinkingDigital TechnologiesCreative ThinkingEducational Process
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Design thinking is a well-established practical and educational approach to fostering high-level creativity and innovation, which has been refined since the 1950s with the participation of experts like Joy Paul Guilford and Abraham Maslow. Through real-world projects, trainees learn to optimize their creative outcomes by developing and practicing creative cognition and metacognition. This paper provides a holistic perspective on creativity, enabling the formulation of a comprehensive theoretical framework of creative metacognition. It focuses on the design thinking approach to creativity and explores the role of metacognition in four areas of creativity expertise: Products, Processes, People, and Places. The analysis includes task-outcome relationships (product metacognition), the monitoring of strategy effectiveness (process metacognition), an understanding of individual or group strengths and weaknesses (people metacognition), and an examination of the mutual impact between environments and creativity (place metacognition). It also reviews measures taken in design thinking education, including a distribution of cognition and metacognition, to support students in their development of creative mastery. On these grounds, we propose extended methods for measuring creative metacognition with the goal of enhancing comprehensive assessments of the phenomenon. Proposed methodological advancements include accuracy sub-scales, experimental tasks where examinees explore problem and solution spaces, combinations of naturalistic observations with capability testing, as well as physiological assessments as indirect measures of creative metacognition.
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