Classroom stimulates teams to innovate

Updated: 2012-11-28 09:42

By Xu Lin (China Daily)

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Classroom stimulates teams to innovate

The Design Thinking course is being introduced to China for the first time. Xu Lin / China Daily

Several students are staring at more than a dozen photos on the whiteboard carefully. Featuring varied objects like books, cosmetics and a dining table, the pictures reveal one routine day in the life of a person.

The students are asked to envision the person based on these pictures, including gender, age, favorite drinks, occupation and life motto.

"We have to use our wildest imagination. I envision the person as a curly-haired female in a one-piece dress, who studies game design and has a very cute daughter," says Le Fan, a postgraduate from the School of Animation and Digital Arts, Communication University of China.

This is one of the modules from Design Thinking, which was launched at Stanford University in 2005 and has become popular in Western countries.

The philosophy is that people from different backgrounds and experiences work together to solve problems with innovative ideas, such as developing a commercial project.

With cooperation from the University of Potsdam, Germany, CUC opened a one-year Design Thinking course for postgraduates at the School of Animation and Digital Arts and for undergraduates of all majors in November. It's the first time the course has been introduced in China.

"We try to relieve man's natural curiosity and make it as simple as possible to relieve one's mind to come up with more and more crazy ideas," says Ulrich Weinberg, head of HPI School of Design Thinking, University of Potsdam.

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