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Design Thinking in education

2014-now | irregular
School of Design Thinking

Dt slides

I believe that everyone in society should contribute to the education of the next generation. One of my activities to do so, is to teach teachers and pupils Design Thinking.

School of Design Thinking: Redesign the classroom experience

I followed the Design Thinking program at the School of Design Thinking (D-School) in Potsdam. Design thinking is a creative problem solving method dictating frequent user feedback, interdisciplinary teams and a lot of prototyping.

During my time at D-School, I participated in a project on improving the classroom of the new QUINOA school in Berlin Wedding. We interviewed pupils, teachers, parents and observed how different schools work.

Quinoa logo

This exhibited problems these schools have. Quinoa school was crowded. The kids, all in the age of 12-16, had no opportunity to withdraw from others, what was stressful particular in work phases.

In a weeks long ideation process, we came up with two tools:

  • The moodboard: A status indicator for the table
  • The bubble: A foldable wall for silent work

Please see the short clip to see our idea presented.

Crowdfunding clip
Crowdfunding clip
DT Workplace
Team presentation
Developed tools
Design thinking impressions

This project also showed me that many inventions in schools are not in line with what staff and pupils really need. Here lies the power of Design Thinking. It helps in aligning ideas with people. I was convinced that the method might be even more powerful when not solely used FOR but taught TO pupils and teachers . This is where the next two projects are about.

Design Thinking for teachers

With a friend, I developed a workshop format to teach teachers Design Thinking. At a conference for inclusion in Hannover we inspired a group of 15 teachers. They were crawling on the ground, collecting materials and crafting amazing prototypes.

Teachers prototyping
Prototyping material
Max and me coaching
Design thinking workshop for teachers

Design Thinking for kids

To see how pupils might react to Design Thinking I became coach in a pilot project by the Education Innovation Lab in Berlin. Together with other Design Thinking coaches and a team of teachers we supervised a 7-week long Design Thinking project. With 120 pupils taking part, this was one of the largest projects on teaching Design Thinking to kids.

The weeks were just great and I learnt a lot about education as well as how kids perceive the world.

Education Innovation Lab logo
Paper prototyp
3D prototyp
Design thinking impression from ESBZ