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Creative Thinking – Empathy & Design

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Creative Thinking – Empathy & Design

A design is typically a blueprint or description of the arrangement and configuration of an item or system, or for the effective execution of an action or procedure, or the end product of that plan or specifications in the shape of a product, machine or procedure. The verb design normally refers to the act of developing a design. Thus, “designed” is not a generic use of the verb as in “the construction of a building,” “designed furniture” or “designed structure.” It refers to the product of human endeavor.

Design Thinking is a methodology for acquiring and utilizing innovation processes based on empathy. The theory of design thinking was developed by Tony Buzan as a tool for problem solving using natural human needs and wants as the driving forces for change. His ideas were later refined and made accessible to industrial designers and engineers through the efforts of the international Team concept organization.

This theory of thinking is relevant because it identifies and addresses the basic needs and desires of individuals and groups for creativity, novelty, emotional intelligence, social impact, creative involvement, authenticity and affect, and meaning in innovative designing and innovation. In essence, design thinking is a framework for eliciting, translating, analyzing, and responding to the human needs and desires of individuals engaged in an innovative process. According to Buzan, “Empathy is the key to successful innovation… Empathy comes first, then design thinking. After that comes the imagination, communication, motivation, dedication, and discipline.”

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