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Image by Clarisse Meyer

Art & Design History

013 Design and Design Thinking


Students wishing to explore how to run interdisciplinary projects that address real-world complex challenges and problems in business and society, delivering creative innovation.


Design and design thinking are about managing complex interdisciplinary projects connecting research into people’s needs and desires with the delivery of products, services, and experiences, creative and innovative solutions to challenges and problems.  The human-centered design combines qualitative and quantitative research into people’s lives with the application of science and technology to manage resources such as funding, materials, and infrastructures to deliver innovation. Design and design thinking are appropriately hot topics in the Academy and business and more widely in society and culture.  More than 60% of companies and organizations in Silicon Valley adopt design-based research and management because they combine science and technology, arts and humanities, and can guarantee flexible and creative anticipation and response to the challenges of a complex world that is hard to predict using conventional specialized disciplines. This workshop will show how the interdisciplinary field of design works and offer the opportunity to apply such understanding to a design challenge chosen by workshop members.

【Sample research topics】

  • What does the design of prehistoric stone tools tell us about how humans think about, make and use things?

  • How were ancient Egyptian pyramids designed and built?

  • What does the design of a medieval castle tell us about the lives and beliefs of those who made and lived in them?

  • Teapots and industrial design in 18th century Europe: how did manufacturers like Josiah Wedgwood set up the model for modern industrial design?

  • How did the design of the Sony Walkman pave the way for the creation of modern consumer electronics?

  • What should be the key factors determining the design of robot cars?

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