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03 Dec

Exploring Design Thinking in Education

In Blog by Bianca Bressy / December 3, 2018 / 0 Comments

Moien! My name’s Bianca, counselor-in-training and writer from Turin, an elegant town tucked near the Alps. One of the words that describes me better is curious, thus I want to start this introduction with a curiosity.

Do you know what’s the most viewed talk on TED? The winner out of more than 2900 videos? It’s a 20-minute talk, recorded in 2006, by Sir Ken Robinson. And it starts with a question.

“Do schools kill creativity?”

We learn, therefore we are

What’s interesting to me is that this video was made in 2006, and yet people still watch it today. Judging from its over 54 million views, it looks like Sir Robinson is right – everybody has an interest in education. Why shouldn’t we? Not only most of us have been at school at a certain point of their life, but the core of education, the act of learning, has been part of human life since its beginnings.

Our oldest myths, for example, are full of mentors. Of people who know the ways of the world and how to guide the young heroes, so that they may learn them as well. But our body too is always learning, with neurons making and reinforcing new connections, setting the old ones aside, observing, categorizing and storing every experience, every detail of our life. School is just one of the many places where we do this, only it is one of the few expressely built to deepend and widen our possibilities.

So we learn, we discover, we innovate. We make the world more complex. And we have to learn agin, and more than before, so to discover and innovate even more.

The potential in uncertainty

Now the world has reached a level of complexity that we could have never imagined. It is fascinating. It is scary. Complexity means uncertainty, and when we are uncertain, we want to understand more because understanding means we have the tools to transform what before was out of our control. All those views suggest one thing, and that is that we’ve already learnt something.

We’ve learnt that the complexity we deal with at school does not correspond to the complexity we deal with in our everyday life. There’s a gap. And now we are trying to understand this gap, explore it a bit more to see how and why it’s there, and then to find the tools to build something out of that gap.

When I sent an email to Art Square asking if I could volunteer with them, I had seen this same process happening again and again with people. When there’s a gap, an empty space in your life, it’s normal to be afraid; but in those gaps lies the potential for change and wellbeing in there. What I saw in design thinking was that same potential.

quote "replace fear of the unknown with curiosity"

Design thinking in schools

What I want to discover is what students need to learn today to tacke our complexity and uncertainty, and understand how design thinking, as a process, a tool, a mindset, can help them make this complexity their own. Specifically, my goal is to understand how design thinking can support the development of so-called “future skills.”

We’ve already heard about them – critical and creative thinking, empathy, problem solving, but also sense making, cross cultural competency, transdisciplinarity, media literacy… Why people should have these skills is widely recognized today. Employers, teachers, young people themselves know that they will be fundamental for the careers of tomorrow. But it’s the how – the learning paths to achieve them – that’s missing right now. Design thinking, with its human-centered approach, its iterative and collaborative process and holistic outlook on the real, concrete world, could be one of them.

What if design thinking became a core element of the students’ life?

How would it positively impact their careers?

How would it change our idea of what education should be?

These are the questions I’m seeking answers for.


Here is a list of my series on Design Thinking in Education:

12 Feb

Luxembourg Service Jam 2018

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / February 12, 2018 / 0 Comments

Remember the crazy 48-hours of Luxembourg Service Jam last year? Here are some memories! Save the date for this year Jam that will take place between 9-11th March!

12 Feb

Creative Carnaval with Racing Basketball Club

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / February 12, 2018 / 0 Comments

We were happy to offer creative atelier for Kids Carnaval with Racing Basket Club last weekend! Thanks to Emeline and Chiara for offering kids the opportunity for learning and fun! IMG_1685IMG_1687IMG_1689IMG_1694

25 Jan

This is how we Jam!- service design event in Luxembourg City!

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / January 25, 2017 / 0 Comments

30 creative spirits got together last weekend for Luxembourg par of Global Service Jam #gsjam to sprint over the process of creating new products, services and #ux with #designthinking!
This is how we Jammed!

Next Jam coming soon (jn May!)

Special thanks to our partners and sponsors:
lux future lab
Brainiact
Antonio Starnino
BlinkBlink Photo Studio (thanks for great pictures!)

25 Sep

Prototyping Social Services with Design Thinking

In Blog by Magdalena Jakubowska / September 25, 2016 / 0 Comments

It has been more than one year that we had that chance to get together with youth workers and social workers from 12 different countries to design social services. Together with Brainiact.com we have moved our laboratory for 5 days outside of the office and took a full advantage of creative atmosphere in international team work. In results 5 prototypes of social services were created by small groups who immersed themselves into daily life of local youth.

Here is the short documentation of the process:

*video by Valeria Cozzarini