What is design thinking and how can it improve creative problem solving? Open the new book by d.school CEO Sarah Stein Greenberg for answers.
Released Tuesday, “Creative acts for curious people: how to think, create and lead in unconventional waysâIs intended to share ideas on the d.school’s approach to problem solving. The Stanford d.school is an interdisciplinary institute that promotes design thinking, a human-centered problem-solving strategy, to produce creative solutions.
Stein Greenberg said she hoped “the book will be of use to anyone trying to develop and develop their own creative skills and use them to work on issues and challenges that are meaningful to them.”
âCreative Acts for Curious Peopleâ features a series of short chapters written by various authors, many of whom are d.school teachers and instructors. Each chapter presents a particular perspective on a design project.
Readers can also explore an organized list of homework assignments that have been developed over the years at d.school. Such assignments, like suggesting an analog to solve a problem or brainstorming a brainstorming experience, are designed to allow readers to channel their creative energy.
“Design is a way of responding to an opportunity or a problem for which there is no clear answer” Stein Greenberg said. The creation of the book itself was a design thinking exercise based on creativity, collaboration and experimentation.
âThe way we do design at d.school is very people-orientedâ, Stein Greenberg said. âIt’s about both the people you design for and the people you design with. She worked to emphasize the importance of diverse perspectives by basing the book’s content on over 100 interviews with different people.
This strong collaboration is also illustrated by the work of the illustrator and assistant professor at the University of Utah. Michel Hirshon, who combined the text of the book with colorful illustrations. Hirshon has developed approximately 130 illustrations for “Creative acts for the curious”.
âI think this is by far the biggest project I have ever worked on. It took about 14 or 15 months, âHirshon said. Despite the scale of the project, the artist made sure to create playful and creative images for the book.
âCreative Acts for Curious Peopleâ can be a great introduction to design thinking, but why should you care about this problem-solving methodology in the first place? According to Stein Greenberg, the design impact is widespread, from healthcare to education, from engineering to media.
The d.school students attest to the importance of design thinking. Aishwarya Venkatramani, MS ’21 has been involved in solving glaucoma problems as part of the Designed for extreme accessibility Classes. She and her classmates teamed up with the Himalayan Cataract Project develop wearable bracelets to keep medical records of patients in Ghana.
What the d.school teaches is unique, according to Venkatramani, in that it is both very creative and very diligent.
âThe d.school really helped us learn to communicate with people in the field, to work remotely and to prepare for interviews or questionnaires,â she said.
Stein Greenberg’s hope is that through this book more people will be willing to solve problems using design tools.
âNone of us are fully equipped to face the range of challenges we all face in the world today. There is a lot of uncertainty, there is a lot of ambiguity about what the future will look like, âshe said. “And I think the design is a way of preparing us to navigate that kind of ambiguity and tackle the types of challenges that we don’t even have names for at the moment.”