Friday, September 17, 2010

design thinking workshop

Haven't blogged for a while because I've suddenly become really busy. Got back to Stanford early Sunday morning and went straight to class. Yup, class on a Sunday. I've been spending my week at Stanford participating in the design thinking workshop. Several departments offer summer college classes that happen the week before classes begin, mainly to let you have the chance to explore a new topic or a topic in depth.

This design thinking workshop has been really great so far. We learn about the design process from different people in the They would talk a little bit about a topic and then have us do an activity. These activities are usually very quick and require us to respond without much thinking. Don't think, just do. It's really refreshing.

I've never thought about design as a process. It's certainly not a static process. It's very fluid and the process can be different in for different products. But the core of the class is really about recognizing the barriers that hold you back from being creative and innovative. I think engineering teaching is extremely rigid and while we pride ourselves in "problem solving," we never really think outside of the box. We're not even aware that this box exists. I think this workshop has given us some of the tools to get outside of this box.

The is part of the mechanic engineering department (sort of). They offer several classes including a bootcamp in design thinking in the fall. I'm seriously considering taking the class. Although I feel like doing boot camp, ESW project, other classes and working part-time would really be too much. One of them might have to go. Well, in order to take the class, I would have to swap it with one of the other classes that I'm planning to take. But I'm not sure that will be enough. Anyway, we'll see. I'll probably go the first day and see what happens. There's an application process. And with all things that involve an application process, I like to think that I'm not really the one making the decision and so I can relax and let it happen. This is not true though because I can usually tell if I submitted a good application or not.

Anyway, last day of the workshop. Maybe meeting up with Erica and Javi in the afternoon!


yalu said...

Hmm... during interviews I'm always asked about thinking outside the box. It's definitely a very important skill in addition to problem solving - especially to find the solutions outside the box.

It's Erika with a K! Because it's Japanese and Dutch...

yalu said...

oh I was *also* going to say that because of this design workshop, I couldn't call you at anytime I wanted. When I got off work, you were still in the workshop!

Btw, I just saw your missed call, and was totally asleep by that time!

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