The Educational Design Ladder: Creation of a Multi-Discipline Design Thinking Program
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: Straker, Karla; Wrigley, Cara
Institution: Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Section: Education and teaching of design, product development, and innovation
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.