Design Thinking

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Designer Desk

We are at the verge of a monumental shift in the way consumers choose and utilize products and services. We have seen the transition from the Industrial age to the Information age, which has fundamentally changed the way we produce and consume i.e. the basic building blocks of our economy.  The transition from Industrial age to Information age was quite stark. We saw a shift from products based economy to services oriented economy.

With the maturation of the Information age we are now moving away from an economy and a society built on the logical linear computer like capabilities of the information age to an economy and society built on inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual age.

The Conceptual Age belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. Inventors, designers, artists, storytellers, big-picture thinkers – are the kind of people primed to excel in the new era and reap societies richest rewards.

For existing businesses in order to stay competitive it is important to differentiate themselves from their competitors not only in terms of the quality of the service but as an overall experience of what their consumers experience when they interact with the brand. Businesses need to start thinking in terms of selling experience rather than just a product or a  service.

Consumers are now looking for a sense of personal satisfaction from any product or service that they utilize. And this personal satisfaction depends on attributes like design, story, symphony, empathy and meaning. These are the fundamental human abilities that triggers a response that resonates with consumers at a very personal level. These attributes that are at the core of the design thinking approach.

So what is Design Thinking?

Design thinking refers to design-specific cognitive activities that designers apply during the process of designing.
— Willemien Visser, The Cognitive Artifacts of Designing 

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
— Tim Brown, President and CEO, IDEO






IBM Design


Helvetica [2007]


A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture. Click here for movie homepage.


Design & Thinking [2012] 


An excellent documentary exploring the idea of design thinking. Click here for movie homepage.