|Sir Ken Robinson - TED Talk|
The current trend in design thinking can be traced to the works of Tom and David Kelley, and Tim Brown of IDEO, and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, also known as the d-school. There are variations on the theme, but common to them all is the strong emphasis on exploration of the parameters of a problem before rushing to finding solutions. In Making Progress in Construction, we looked at the common role that both designers and engineers can have in identifying the right question.
For example, when looking at concept plans for an emergency health care center, the question was posed as to the size of the large waiting room. This caused a re-evaluation of the patient processing at the center, triaging those with actual emergencies and those with no health care. This, is turn, affected the programming of the floor space of the facility, and resulted in a much more functional care center.
In digging deeper, this question might even challenge the assumptions given by the building and its scope. For example, by asking the greater questions of who, what, when, where and why in the case of health care leads to ideas such as the Alaska Tribal “telehealth” workstations nested in a community center. It increases access to care, job training for local nurses and provides a data link for consultation with doctors and specialists. This is a solution which does more with less, and has been an inspiration for Croatia and other countries with remote populations.
Sir Robinson describes Human Resources like Natural Resources, they are often buried deep. But this exercise in design thinking created the circumstances in which these talents surfaced, where the students were able to tap into their authentic selves and work collaboratively towards elegant solutions. If this is a taste of the learning revolution, count me in.