International Design Congress 2015: Design-Thinking-Psychology

I gave a super compressed 2-day psychology-integrated design thinking workshop at the International Design Congress at Kwangju. Super compressed means in two 3h-sessions, I condensed a 6-week design-thinking-forward workshop I had just completed at Hongik and Sangmyung University in Seoul. But it worked!

Here’s how:


1. Socializing in every exercise

With an audience that is diverse in age, country and educational background, it is essential that all members feel like a group for feeling free in the subsequent creative exercises. So in every exercise, I included one or two aspects of socializing, like learning a new name, or asking about a personal preference.

2. Make every exercise fun

Design thinking is fun for many but not all people, and not all the time. So when the energy level drops, it is essential to integrate fun elements into the exercises. To accomplish the socializing goal at the same time, the exercises should always aim for coordination between people. The secret of creating a fun exercise is to remove the intellectuality.

3. Channel fun into productivity

In order to create a super-quick prototype in only 10 minutes, I prep the people with an energy exercise appropriate to the group. This group at IDC2015 was hyperactive, so I taught them a basic hiphop move to groove:

Right after this hiphop exercise, people put their groove experience into their prototyping work, and five groups finished a completely different prototype in only 10 minutes.

Conclusion: Create a socializing-fun-productivity experience of your workshop!

Seeing their prototype come alive in this short time created a sense of accomplishment – in essence building up creative confidence as suggested by Tim Brown. This was all the more the case as participants experienced themselves integrating a lot of psychological knowledge learned in this workshop. Look at the energy level after the last three super intensive hours of the workshop: