Design Thinking in Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Creating Innovative Solutions for Students' Community
Authors: Juanjuan June He
Abstract: Design thinking is a mindset and toolkit to effectively support the process of problem-solving and product development. Expanding knowledge of design thinking to non-design major students helps introduce the methodology and enhance creativity to a broader audience. In the fall semester of 2021, many college students came back to campus after more than one and a half years of remote learning due to Covid-19. They were eager to participate in in-person activities and communities. However, they faced anxiety and uncertainty in the post-pandemic environment. This paper introduces the theory and methods using design thinking and collaboration to help interdisciplinary students tackle problems in their community. Some group projects from the Product Design program at Drexel University are used here as examples, including topics on female students’ safety on campus, bike storage issues, and making friends in the university. Within this course, students from diverse disciplines collaborated to generate innovative solutions. Students’ presentations and feedbacks show improved confidence in creativity and a great passion to pursue further study in the design-related curriculum.
Keywords: design thinking, product design, interdisciplinary collaboration, post-pandemic learning, students’ community
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