Undergraduate Degree



DD9009 Design Thinking

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites:Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

Through research and practice-based teaching to present students to Design Thinking methodology as an effective tool to inspire original thinking and innovation. This trans-disciplinary course on design thinking will encourage students to work on projects with a common goal, to imagine and create new solutions that are unique, useful and successful.


This an introductory course on Design Thinking methodology that encourages trans-disciplinary collaborations leading to creative and innovative solutions. This course encourages a mix of conventional and experimental collaborations among disciplines, introducing the student to the design thinking process comprising of empathy, definition of problem, ideation, prototyping and testing, with the common goal; Exercises are given that bring awareness to the environment that surrounds a defined problem, and to empathise with the needs and motivation of people in order to gain insights that provide the inspiration for ideas that are then explored through experiments and prototypes to attain feasible solution(s).

Course Outline




Introduction to the course

2 - 3

Understanding Design Thinking method, through lectures and short exercises that will lead students to the understand of each phase of Design Thinking.

  • Empathy

  • Definition of problem

  • Ideation

  • Prototyping

  • Testing


4 - 12

Apply acquired methodology to a project. Create solutions through trans-disciplinary teams, develop innovation solutions that can be checked against original intent


Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

Students will learn, through theory and practice, the process of Design Thinking and acquire the knowledge and skills to apply this process to real life problems.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70%

Continuous assessment components will include:

  • Individual exercises

  • Feedback in group and personal engagement

  • Student participation


Suggested Reading:

  1. Tim Brown with Barry Katz, Change by design : how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation, Harper Business, 2009.

  2. Jeremy Myerson, Ideo : masters of innovation, Laurence King, London, 2004   

  3. Emily Pilloton and Allan Chochinov, 100 products that are changing peole’s lives, Thames & Hudson, 2009

  4. Dev Patnaik with Peter Mortensen, Wired to care: how companies prosper when they create widespread empathy, FT Press, 2009

  5. Tom Kelley, with Jonathan Littman, The art of innovation: lessons in creativity from IDEO, America's leading design firm, HarperCollinsBusiness, 2001