Design Thinking

"Design Thinking is a human centered, creative approach to problem solving. One that starts with people and ends with innovative solutions tailored to meet their needs" - Tim Brown, IDEO

Design Thinking brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning – abilities we all have but get overlooked by other problem-solving practices – to explore possibilities of what could be and to create desired outcomes that benefit end-users. 

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Design Thinking calls for continuous feedback between the design team and the end-users. Design Thinkers step into the users’ shoes – not only interviewing them, but also carefully observing their behaviours. Solutions and ideas are concretized and communicated in the form of prototypes as early as possible and tested by potential users so they can provide feedback – long before the completion or launch.

Design Thinking may help organisations to become more comfortable with the ’fail fast -learn fast’ approach which helps to manage the risks associated with innovation projects and complex challenges.

Design Thinking was developed by David Kelley, Stanford professor and founder of the renowned design agency IDEO in Silicon Valley, and is strongly influenced by Professors Terry Winograd and Larry Leifer at the at Stanford University. 


Three important factors that make Design Thinking successful:


Radical collaboration

Innovations and answers to complex situations are best generated in multidisciplinary teams. A variety of professional backgrounds & curiosity and openness for different perspectives are the foundation of the creative working culture.

Mindful of process


At Dutch we use the Design Thinking methodology
'Dutch Design Deltas'. More information you find at Design Methodology: Design Deltas

Bias toward action

A team needs optimal spatial conditions so that it can develop its creative process. These include flexible, movable furniture, sufficient space for whiteboards and presentation surfaces, as well as materials for prototyping, such as LEGO® bricks, fabrics and craft materials.