The Educational Design Ladder: Creation of a Multi-Discipline Design Thinking Program

DS 81: Proceedings of NordDesign 2014, Espoo, Finland 27-29th August 2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: Straker, Karla; Wrigley, Cara
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Section: Education and teaching of design, product development, and innovation
Page(s): 065-074
ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2


As global industries change and technology advances, traditional education systems may no longer be able to supply companies with graduates possessing an appropriate mix of skills and experience. The recent increased interest in Design Thinking as an approach to innovation has resulted in its adoption by non-design trained professionals. This necessitates a new method of teaching Design Thinking related skills and processes. This research investigates what (content) and how (assessment and learning modes) Design Thinking is being taught from fifty-one (51) selected courses across twenty-eight (28) international universities. Their approaches differ, with some universities specifically investing in design schools and programs, while others embed Design Thinking holistically throughout the university. Business, engineering and design schools are all expanding their efforts to teach students how to innovate, often through multi-disciplinary classes. This paper presents ‘The Educational Design Ladder’ a resource model, which suggests a process for the organisation and structuring of units for a multi-disciplinary Design Thinking program. The intention is to provide 21st century graduates with the right combination of skills and experience to solve workplace design problems regardless of their core discipline.

Keywords: Design education, learning design, design Knowledge


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.