13. March 2019

Design Thinking Creates Tomorrow’s Solutions

by Katharina

Do you know the motto of Stanford University? It is actually German and says “Die Luft der Freiheit weht”. Translated from German, it means “The wind of freedom blows”. The “Farm”, so its’ unofficial name, is one of the worlds’ richest universities, based in the valley close to today’s tech giants and highly acclaimed both in academia and industry. And it is home of d.school – the Design Thinking Institute founded in 2005 and led be David E. Kelley, the godfather of this still very young discipline.

One might ask: Why does a university put so much effort into this topic? And what has design to do with engineering or information technology? And why are we learning and applying these techniques in our SVC? Well, it’s all about creating intelligent solutions.

The origin of design thinking partially lie in the development of creativity techniques in the 1950s. Throughout the following decades it shaped from a very vague approach to a clear method with a strong focus on a human-centered design. Design thinking focuses on three core elements:

  • Desirability – Do customers and users really want this product or service?
  • Viability – Is there a business model to it, which makes you earn money with it sustainably?
  • Feasibility – Is there a technical solution available, with which the idea can be realized?

If these elements come together, true innovation can happen. The essential ingredient on the way: an interdisciplinary team and iterations with customers or users to get direct feedback. All this helps to sharpen your idea and create a successful solution.

Coming back to Stanford’s motto, I believe that our participants experience a lot of freedom here as well. Far away from daily process-oriented work life back home they have the liberty to design novel solutions. They virtually get out of the building via their video walls, talk to customers and evaluate the feedback based on their interdisciplinarity. And they constantly challenge their ideas against desirability, viability and feasibility. So design thinking helps to create tomorrow’s solutions – our motto at WACKER.