WORKSHOP 2: Defining goals through collaboration using design thinking: Project team building consensus

This workshop will offer a hands-on exploration of design as an in situ ‘meaning-making’ process. At the heart of this non-traditional design practice is the engagement and collaboration of clients, users, designers and other stakeholders who constitute a project team.

This workshop will explore how a team of experts and non-experts interacts within a design project and achieves consensus on goals. We view design thinking from research perspectives such as Cross (2007) and Schön (1983), as well as the perspectives of practitioners such as Brown (2009) and Lombardi (2010). Using design thinking, teams reach common understanding on diverse concepts, grasp the complexity of the situation and generate solutions which are user-centred and sustainable. Design is a catalyst for business thinking (Boland & Collopy, 2004; Poldma, 2013 in process) and a method to improve collaboration among the members of an interdisciplinary team (Zahedi, 2011). For us, design thinking, when used collectively, systematically and strategically, has the capacity to bring a team together, to help them develop a holistic view of the project and to build new knowledge for the project.

This workshop will focus on the early stage of a human/computer interface (HCI) design. The participants will form a project team and act as designers, users, clients and content experts. They will go through a set of activities, using design thinking to communicate meaningfully and to overcome the difficulties in sharing knowledge. The participants will also create personae and use case scenarios to align clients’ and users’ needs and wants, and to define the characteristics of the project. They will work collaboratively on the visual design of the interface, and we believe that this workshop will be invaluable for learning about the design process and understanding the potentials of collaborative design thinking, not only in the context of HCI but also in other multidisciplinary contexts.

Objectives of the learning exercises include:

  • experiencing new tools for reaching understanding;
  • learning how these tools can be explored in a groups learning process;
  • seeing how this becomes a catalyst for learning in design studio situations;
  • discovering how these tools are transferable in practices where designers and stakeholders work in dialogue; and
  • understanding how users and stakeholders might work together to generate creative ideas and new knowledge.

Design thinking, as a process and a collaboration strategy, involves many people who learn from each other collectively and deal with complex and, at times, ill-defined problems.

Timeframe: 3h

Mithra Zahedi, University of Montreal, Canada;

Tiiu Poldma, University of Montreal, Canada 

Open for registration: 18