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Introducing Aidan – Design Factory New Zealand Coach

Design Factory New Zealand coach Aidan Bigham chats about how Design Thinking helps to solve Wicked Challanges.
Hi everyone, and welcome to the course Design Thinking for Sustainability Development. My name is Aidan Bigham, and I am a design factory coach at Wintec in Hamilton, New Zealand. This course will focus on the design thinking process. You will carry out the design thinking process on the United Nations sustainability goals, in particular Goal 12, responsible consumption and development. Now we have four learning outcomes for this course. Learning outcome 1 is for us to apply design thinking to make decisions. Learning outcome 2 is to identify and solve a challenge associated with sustainable development. Learning outcome 3 is to create meaning from interview and secondary data.
And our final learning outcome is to be able to recognise at what stage of the design thinking process we’re in, no matter the project. The best way to learn something is for you to actively participate in it. Therefore, I have created this course with you at the centre. As you progress through the design thinking stages, I will ask you to carry out activities, to talk to people, to make meaning from what they are saying, so that we can come up with some solution to what we call a wicked challenge. Design thinking can be defined in many different ways. It is important to note that there are four things that they all have in common.
Design thinking is a process, it is human centred, it is both analytical and creative, and it is available for anyone to use from any discipline and across disciplines. There are many types of design thinking processes, but they all generally follow the same pattern. This course will follow the five-stage process. We start with empathy, understanding the challenge and context and from the user’s point of view. We follow this with define, where we make sense of our information. We then generate many, many ideas. We will make the best ones, and then we test them on our users. The process may look linear, but at times we may need to move backwards to other stages.
For example, once we have tested, we need to go back and create a second prototype to test again. Now as we progress through the course, there are certain attitudes, what we call mindsets, to help us in each of the stages. Stanford Design school, or D school, have created seven mindsets that help us through the design thinking process. We will look at these through the course, but for now I’d just like us to be aware of a couple. I’d like us to have bias towards action. I will ask you to interview people, so lean into the uncertainty. Give it a go. Everything we do will have learnings for us to solve our challenge. Embrace the process. Embrace experimentation.
Don’t be afraid of getting things wrong, as we are on a learning journey, and each step will take us closer to our final solution. There will be reflections throughout the course. Please take the time, post what you have learned, post your findings, comment on other people’s findings, so as a community we can solve this challenge together. I really enjoy the design thinking process and the impact that it can have on the world, and I hope that by the end of this course, you can see it too. Enjoy.

Lets start by getting to know each other. I (Aidan Bigham) am a Design Factory New Zealand coach, at the Waikato Institute of Technology (WINTEC), in Hamilton New Zealand. I facilitate the Design Thinking journey to undergraduate and postgraduate students, community organisations and industry.

What makes Design Thinking stand out to me is its ability to include every voice and adapt to any challenge. It helps to provide a way of analysing quantitative and qualitative data together while providing a process that ensures action.

This course may be intensive so you can engage in it in one of two ways:

You could engage in the course to learn about design thinking concepts and engage with the content with the identified project.

You could choose your own project or a task to apply the process to, and the tasks within the course represent guided sessions that you could work through alone or within a team environment.

Each stream will take a different amount of time but we encourage everyone to engage in the comments feed whether they have completed all of the allotted activities or not.


Watch the video to find out more about me and what this course will offer you. When you are done, use the comments section to share which of the five stages of the Design Thinking journey you think is the most challenging for you and why.

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Design Thinking for Sustainable Development

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