Design thinking is a problem-solving framework that is transforming fields from entertainment to international development. In this beginner-level course, you will practice each step of the design thinking process by completing a series of hands-on activities. Video lectures will introduce the mindsets and exercises used by leading designers around the world, but the bulk of your experience will take place away from your computer as you complete 17 activities with people in your school, company, or local community.
This course requires no previous experience and can be completed either independently or in teams. Whether you’re an engineer, machinist, maker, artist, teacher, student, or just plain curious, you’re in the right place to begin learning about design thinking.
“In short, design thinking converts need into demand. It’s a human-centered approach to problem-solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and creative.” – Tim Brown, CEO and President of IDEO.
After completing this course, students will:
- Gain familiarity and confidence with the design thinking process.
- Develop creative confidence and practice using a positive growth mindset.
- Build design-related vocabulary and visual literacy to articulate your process and decisions.
- Demonstrate ability to apply design thinking methods to a real-world problem.
Contents and Overview
This course consists of 10 sections that include lectures and hands-on exercises introducing five phases of the design thinking process. Each lesson includes comprehensive lecture presentations and project exercises that include step-by-step video instruction, as well as checkpoint quizzes, challenge assignments, and a final course assessment.
At the beginning of the course, you’ll be introduced to the design thinking process by leading practitioners in the field, their own design frameworks for design thinking, and the commonalities between them.
Once you’ve been introduced to design thinking, we’ll provide you with an example challenge to help you get comfortable using the process: How might we reduce reliance on single-use plastic in our community? You will apply this challenge to five phases of the design thinking process: Understand, define, ideate, test, and refine.
We will also present you with two challenge assignments that connect design thinking to product design as a solution for complex problems. We will introduce two Autodesk CAD tools to help you bring your design concepts to life: Tinkercad and Fusion 360. At the end of the assignment, you will be able to apply the design thinking process, Tinkercad, and Fusion 360 skills you learned to create a CAD model of your own.
At the end of the course, you’ll learn to refine your design solution prototype through iteration and testing. By gaining familiarity and confidence with the design thinking process, you’ll learn to apply these methods to problems in the real-world around you.