Design Thinking

By , ,     Sep 30, 2014
Clinical Professor of Design and Innovation, Southern Methodist University

Gray Garmon

Director of Design and Innovation Programs and Research Professor, Lyle School of Engineering

Kate Canales

NAS Director

Sunny Widmann

Sunny believes that arts participation engenders empathy and builds cross-cultural understanding, and is interested in how the arts work in different communities across the globe. Sunny likes to spend her time practicing yoga with friends, or planning her next great adventure.

Creative Community Tools

National Arts Strategies has developed a set of lessons to help cultural entrepreneurs push their great ideas forward.  Think of each lesson as a tool, grouped with other related lessons to form a themed toolkit.  Each toolkit features videos and worksheets from the National Arts Strategies Team and our faculty partners.

The Creative Community Fellows explore these tools with the support of their learning groups.  We make the toolkits openly available on this blog and invite the greater arts and culture community to use them.  We invite you to share your experience with these tools in the comments section.  Happy learning!

Unit 2: Design Thinking

Design thinking is an iterative process that helps you move from having a seed of an idea to a plan for experimenting on a small scale.  Using design thinking, which is based in the scientific method, helps you question your assumptions and explore a wide range of possible solutions to the problem you are trying to solve.


Watch the video introductions from CCF faculty Kate Canales and Gray Garmon below.

Design Thinking


Design Action

Check out the Stanford virtual crash course video on design thinking.
Optional: Choose a partner in your learning group or community and participate in the Gift Giving Project.


Watch this video introduction from Kate and Gray on empathy:

Create an empathy map for a customer segment using this tool.
Check out these suggestions for additional reading on design thinking from Kate and Gray.