Teaching Design Thinking in a Research-Intensive University at a Time of Rapid Change

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Robert B O'Toole, Dr Bo Kelestyn, Dr


In this paper we present a snapshot of the theories, intentions, practices and outcomes produced by a teaching and learning collaboration. This is located geographically and culturally at the University of Warwick, and temporally across the period 2020-2021 marked by the global pandemic. The case study illustrates how a designerly, flexible, open, collaborative approach to learning design allowed for effective adaptation to changing circumstances. This was more effective through being formulated as an ethical approach to Design Thinking, shared by teachers, students, the host department, and collaborators (including two VR companies, a physical theatre company, and a design researcher from South Africa). By developing a humanitarian, ethical, and philosophically grounded Design Thinking, and using it for founding principles, the teaching team were able to adapt and learn, making the most of what was possible. We explore this method in depth, focussing upon how a reflective appreciation of modes of knowledge, and the use of visualisations helps us to cope with the complexity of what we are doing together, before, during, and after the period of disruption.

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O'TOOLE, Robert B; KELESTYN, Bo. Teaching Design Thinking in a Research-Intensive University at a Time of Rapid Change. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 26, n. 4, p. 239-255, dec. 2021. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <https://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/DATE/article/view/2975>. Date accessed: 25 mar. 2023.