Presenter: Selena Griffith, School of Design Studies
Design Management (DM) is a new, fast developing field intrinsically linked to the business & strategy aspects of design practice. It is in high demand by students strategically undertaking a masters to affect a career change or to reposition themselves. It is constantly growing & changing with many new theories, models & practices developing each year. It attracts masters students from diverse professional backgrounds who are interested in either shifting from a design role into a more strategic position, understanding how design can be leveraged within organisations or non designers who want to understand how to manage designers & design processes & functions. Design Managers work in environments that are in constant flux, in multidisciplinary teams, on complex projects. These projects are often called ‘wicked problems’ (Rittel, H & Webber, M 1973)1.
Addressing any one part of the wicked problem creates ‘sticky solutions’ that may impact on the other parts of the problem or create new ones. Design Thinking (DT)is an iterative process used by designers to solve complex problems. You define a problem, conduct research, apply results to ideate solutons, prototype these & test them against the project objectives, form strategies to implement successful solutions, reflect on results to learn from the process before redefining & starting the cycle again. It’s ‘whole system’ approach has proven to be very effective in solving ‘wicked problems’ It is one of the main methodologies taught in the DM major at College of Fine Arts (COFA) so I thought it an appropriate methodology for the courses to be built & iterated with. As an educator addressing the need to create opportunities, environments & cultures for learning, meeting individual student needs, institutional & industry requirements & balancing all these stakeholder expectations within the context of a fast developing & every changing field becomes a ‘wicked problem’ all of its own.
A DT approach has been very useful in determining our student’s various & sometimes conflicting needs & applying this knowledge to design, develop & iterate an engaging & meaningful professional level education experience for them and developing them as individual practitioners.
I have also applied DT at an undergraduate level. I will present a number of tools I have successfully used to iterate aspects of courses to develop rich and engaging student learning experiences.
John Goodsell Building, room LG29