veski awards in design 2009

20 December

The Big Idea Design thinking is a topic of major global interest for design and related fields. Australia is now beginning to explore the consequences of design thinking for design education and practice and for design research.

On November 21 and 22, veski in conjunction with Swinburne Design and Design Victoria hosted an invitational Conference on design thinking. The conference addressed the meaning and significance of the concept for education and practice.

Following the conference, they will host several public seminars followed by a book on design thinking. veski supported the conference with funds to bring several outstanding international experts to Victoria for the conference and seminars. The goal is to develop awareness of design thinking in the larger Community.

The long-term goal is to foster a culture of innovation for design and related fields using design thinking as the vehicle for doing so. This project will focus on design thinking in the Victorian design sector, and we hope to develop statewide, national, and international networks that emphasize the value of design thinking for designerly and scientific solutions in sustainable design practice.

What is Design Thinking?

The term design thinking has two current meanings. One meaning refers to the practices of working designers. The other meaning refers to the human-centered problem solving process that designers use to solve problems, an approach with relevance to other fields. Some scholars note that design thinking in this sense is leading to changes or improvements in such fields as managment and organisation. The peripheral nature of design to mainstream higher education discourse is changing around the world as different fields begin to embrace designerly ways of knowing as a relevant approach to many domains. Even so, design thinking has achieved a higher measure of the international recognition of than it has achieved in Australia. In particular, business and management schools have begun to focus on the value of design thinking as an approach to professional practice.

For example, design-thinking courses are now available at the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto and at the Stanford University’s D-School. Design Schools (D-Schools) are now competing with Business Schools (B-Schools) to deliver the kind of education and training that business executives now demand. (See Business Week October 9, 2006 ‘The Best D-schools for Creative Talent). The British Design Council has cited the significance of design thinking for the UK as an issue design education programs must incorporate into the curriculum. There is a precedent, therefore, for design schools to serve as the source of design thinking expertise and its crossdisciplinary application.

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