2016 Design Thinking

Font size  SML

Register update notification mail Add to favorite lecture list
Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Industrial Engineering and Economics
Umemuro Hiroyuki 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise     
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

In today's society, there are a number of problems that can be solved through the thinking way of design, or design thinking, from simple designs to large and complex social problems.
The goals of this courses are to learn the fundamentals of design thinking as well as to propose solutions to actual problems in the real world.
Students work in groups. They learn the concept and methods of design thinking at first, and then work in groups to propose solutions through actual practices, including design research, synthesis, opportunity finding, ideation, prototyping, user testing, and storytelling.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will:
1) understand the mindset and some methods of design thinking.
2) propose solutions for actual problems in the real world.
3) be able to communicate and discuss with international team mates.
4) be able to present their own ideas in effective way in English.
5) be ready to apply design thinking mindset and methods to problems in the real world.


design, prototype, project based learning, problem solving, service design

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Students work in groups throughout the semester. In the beginning of the semester, design topic will be announced for which students groups will work on the proposals of solutions.
Consecutive two weeks cover one theme. Students will learn concepts and methods in the first week. Then students work in groups in the second week applying what they learned in the previous week towards final proposal on the design topic.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Lecture: Introduction to Design Thinking Understand fundamental concept of design thinking.
Class 2 Group activity: Design Challenge Announcement Design briefing. Group formation. Icebreaking.
Class 3 Lecture: Design Research Understand design research concept and methods. Plan own design research activities.
Class 4 Group activity: Design Research Design research activities.
Class 5 Lecture: Synthesis + Opportunity Area Understand how to synthesize, empathy, and find opportunities.
Class 6 Group activity: Synthesis + Opportunity Area Synthesize own results of design research, empathy, and find opportunities.
Class 7 Lecture: Ideation + Concept Development Understand how to ideate and develop concepts.
Class 8 Group activity: Ideation + Concept Development Ideate on own opportunities found in the previous module, and further develop concepts.
Class 9 Lecture: Prototype Understand the importance of prototypes and how to make them.
Class 10 Group activity: Prototype Make prototypes on own concepts. Plan user testing and further refinements of concepts.
Class 11 Lecture: Business Design Understand business aspects needed for solutions to be viable. Continue prototyping and user tests.
Class 12 Group activity: Business Design Reflect business aspects on own concepts. Continue prototyping and user tests.
Class 13 Lecture: Storytelling Understand storytelling methods for effective communication of ideas. Continue prototyping and user tests.
Class 14 Group activity: Storytelling Reflect on storytelling for effective communication of own design solutions.
Class 15 Final Presentation Present design solutions own group propose.


Class materials are provided in the class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Tim Brown (2009). Change by Design. Harper Business.
Tom Kelley, David Kelley, (2013). Creative Confidence. William Collins.
Marc Stickdorn, Jakob Shneider (2011). This is Service Design Thinking. Wiley.
Gavin Ambrose, Paul Harris (2011). Design Thinking. AVA Publishing.
Thomas Lockwood (ed.) (2010). Design Thinking: Integration, Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value.

Assessment criteria and methods

Final report: 40%, Final proposal: 40%, Class contribution: 20%

Related courses

  • IEE.C432 : Applied Cognitive Ergonomics
  • IEE.C530 : Design Business

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Hiroyuki Umemuro



Page Top