Design Thinking Journal: The Day We Wrote On The Walls (More Like The Glass Panels In The Cafeteria)
In last week’s design class, we were given a problem to solve:
How can we get people to take this design class in future semesters? This design class isn’t required by anyone in the school, and it’s been hard to get the word out about the class. What can we do to inform people about the class and get the right people into it?
After spending several hours brainstorming with my team, we decided that we wanted to give people a hands-on experience with Design Thinking, rather than just talking their ear off about it. We came up with a series of activities that could be done in crowded places on campus that would not only make a statement, but let people test drive the class for themselves.
Why people should take this class:
The thing is, this class is really fun! It’s not too hard, it’s a good 3 credits, and you learn one of the most valued skills in today’s market place. Better yet, it applies to ever major! Every single major offered here can somehow benefit from the skills we learn in Design Thinking. Nurses, CIT, art, anything! It’s an invaluable class. With that in mind, we tried to market the class as the best thing since slice bread/the greatest thing ever. AND IT WORKED.
While brainstorming, I proposed that we set up whiteboards in the busy cafeteria with questions written on them. “How can you keep a snowman from melting?” and “How can you fit a square peg into a round hole?” Questions that aren’t too intimidating, open-ended, and require a spark of creativity. IT WENT SO WELL. During class time, we launched our experiment. We took a huge white board to a busy part of the cafeteria, and on the other side of the cafeteria we wrote on decorative glass panels. We asked passersby to write down their thoughts on the panels, and afterward we very briefly talked about how in problem solving is the whole point of Design Thinking. People loved it! Many asked for the course code, and we had about 50 people sign our boards, which isn’t bad for an almost-empty cafeteria at 10am.
Our class and professor feedback was phenomenal. I’m so happy that my idea worked out so well. It gives me a lot more confidence in my problem-solving abilities and my future as a designer. Even my professor said that they never thought of something this good when marketing the course. I’m so happy to continue working on this project and reiterating it and making it better. By the time we’re done, we’ll need to add a few more chapters to this wonderful course.