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Design Thinking – A Creative Teaching, Learning and Life Tool

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings” — IDEO

At Spring Hill, we use Design Thinking to develop the habit of approaching life with an openness toward considering others before making decisions and taking action.  It is our goal to develop in children the agency to affect positive outcomes through collaboration, taking risks and learning from their experiences. 

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a methodology for creative problem solving...according to Stanford University d.school.

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation…according to IDEO.

Design Thinking is a creative teaching, learning and life tool…according to Spring Hill.

The Basics

  • Empathize – gather information, interview, listen, seek to understand.
  • Define – identify the desired outcome, find opportunities for improvement.
  • Ideate – explore possibilities, brainstorm, compare and evaluate ideas.
  • Prototype – create a simulation or a draft
  • Test, Revise, Refine – try it out, get feedback, circle back, make improvements

Design Thinking can be a linear process or it can be circuitous, as long as all of the steps are touched upon.  Design Thinking can be used to create tangible products, it can be used to re-design a policy or process, or it can be used to create group agreements around areas of conflict.  The applications are limitless.  It is a versatile method for organizing people and ideas, generating positive outcomes and making a difference in ones own life as well as that of others.

Spring Hill has been making prototypes since its first Invention Convention in 1990.  Since 2014 we have been incorporating Design Thinking into our invention process, and into how we approach education.  Our primary sources of inspiration are the d.school at Stanford University and IDEO, both located in Palo Alto, CA.