Institute for Entrepreneurship Presents: Design Thinking Workshop
On March 24, 2017 the Institute for Entrepreneurship hosted a full-day workshop on Design Thinking with Mauro Del Santo from Fondazione Mondo Digitale. Del Santo is a designer and educator who specializes in product design and innovation in the field of manufacturing technologies. He is also the creator of UnSolid, a brand of lighting design produced with digital fabrication technologies. In collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education, he is developing new educational activities and strategies to promote technological innovation in high schools.
The workshop focused on design thinking methodology, and introduced the rising importance of digital fabrication on the world market. The growing number of fairs, festivals, platforms such as Fablabs, and the so-called “Maker Movement” seems to corroborate this trend.
Del Santo highlighted how “the key to design is innovation” and how creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas. Anyone can be creative, even if they are not artistic.
The design method explored during the workshop follows five key points: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. The focal point of a successful design strategy is the definition of a problem, because it allows one to start searching for solutions. Del Santo’s advice was to explore many ideas, even eccentric ones, to be visual, and to keep on topic. Prototyping and testing can happen again and again if necessary. The goal is to experiment with as many prototypes as possible so as to quickly reach a viable solution.
During the workshop, participants went from developing a basic idea to completing a prototype of a design concept. They were introduced to the main digital fabrication technologies, Fablabs and the Maker Movement, in order to understand how they are connected and how they bring innovation into education, business and everyday life. The last part of the workshop was devoted to practical experiments during which participants tried a number of technologies such as 3D printers, 3D scanners, and microcontrollers.
“Practical knowledge and meeting professionals are the best things about these workshops. Today I had a chance to learn about new design fields, ask for advice about how to build my future career in design, and what universities to consider for master’s programs,” said JCU student Kateryna Umanets.