The core of our educational process is formed by semester-long Design Studio courses practicing design driven approach to innovation. In these classes, students do not get concrete problems to be solved but instead, they work their way into complex challenges where they are trying to find places for attractive and promising interventions. The education and practice in these projects focus on the fuzzy-front-end of the development process, on the process where the roots of new value are planted.All projects are run in small multidisciplinary teams mixing different skills and backgrounds, engineers and designers, sex and culture. Not only teams are multidisciplinary, also the subjects are understood and dealt in a cross-disciplinary manner.
Projects start with the exploration of the theme in order to create a wide understanding about the situation around the problem area, to define a creative playground and to understand different viewpoints of different players. Etnography studies are run to understand users and other stakeholders involved.
Visualisation is used to present the situation and understand the context of the problem. This context is explored by defining, listing and analysing its different elements, connections and relationships between them. As a result a systemic nature of the issue is enrolled and a rich visual map is created, exploring the system in its full complexity. GIGAmapping is used to create vast maps to start communicating and revealing strategies to impact the system and start redesigning these for better.
Steps are taken from fuzzy mess towards clear value offer for users and other stakeholders. Here empathy is needed to understand the dreams and needs of different players on the field. When places for opportunities are marked and value for players is defined, the work is moving on towards problem framing.
As a conclusion of the first half of the project the plan for development is created.
The brief defines a beacon where the project aims by articulating the value offer for all stakeholders. Also a road map is set defining the steps of the project and moments of feedback.
Fun and pain, this is the charm of design process where everything is possible till it all collapses in order to start again for new and better.
Prototyping is carried out from the very beginning of idea creation. Starting quick and easy everything can be tested and played out. Failing, learning from mistakes and trying again is a way towards outstanding and unexpected results.
Presenting is trained throughout the project, so each team member polishes his skills and grows her courage. Twice a year D&E Gala events take place with public presentations and discussions of all the projects.