DESMA Chats – “The Fabs & Fads of Design Thinking”

On November 11th we broadcasted our first episode of DESMA Chats, during which we discussed “The Fabs & Fads of Design Thinking.” Our two guest experts Cecilia Hill, GM of the Design Practice at Telstra, and Stefanie Di Russo, PhD candidate at Swinburne University, opened up an insightful discussion around design thinking that showed a lot of common ground between their views — from practice and academia, respectively — on what design thinking is and could be. During the chat, Cecilia and Stefanie pointed us toward a future that moves past the misunderstandings that surround design thinking by developing a common understanding of the concept within organisations and academic communities.

Offering a perspective from practice, Cecilia shared her experience infusing design thinking throughout one of Australia’s largest telecommunications providers. She stressed that, because the concept springs mainly from design disciplines, it is often necessary to communicate the process and value of design thinking in business language. We also zoomed out on, following Stefanie’s explanation of how academic concepts — such as the four “orders” of design practices described by Richard Buchanan — suggest different approaches to design thinking depending upon the aim. In her overview, Stefanie described how design thinking involves different methods and mindsets whether the goal is to develop a product or service, to shape an ecosystem of products and services, or even to design an entire organisation.

This first episode of the DESMA Chats initiative highlighted the ways in which academia and practice can stimulate each other, triggering new ideas and opportunities for further discussion. Thanks both to our interesting and knowledgeable guests, and the active participation of the audience, this interactive format allowed for a fruitful discussion about topical issues within the field of design management. We are already working hard to make the next episode bigger and better, and therefore we invite you to suggest a topic that you want to hear, tune in, or join us a special guest!

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