Week – 01

Design Thinking Introduction (WEEK 01)

  • Overview, objective and goal of this course

Since the year 2012 at GTU, the academic leaders, experts were exploring to identify and solve a riddle that, what should a student of engineering must do so as to increase the chances for job absorption or become a technocrat to establish and run an engineering business empire. Over a period of time, following elaborative discussions and deliberations, GTU came up with an idea to introduce a course – Design Engineering that spine across the engineering learning duration. The course was first ever time was introduced by the GTU under curriculum across entire of bachelors engineering – all branches. Initially, the course was introduced as DE-1 in BE II, DE-2 in BE III and DE-3 for BE IV. Later, the course contents were split and merged under semester system that brought DE-1A and DE-1B for Semester III and IV respectively. Subsequently, DE-2A and DE-2B for Semester V and VI. The DE-3 was merged with Academic Project-1 and 2 under Semester 7 and 8.

So, in a nutshell, if a group of students are able to identify a productive idea, there be sufficient time to develop – 2 years at least, during BE III and BE IV.

GTU also has developed a POLICY to extend all necessary student to emerge as a Start-up wherein the Design Engineering acts as a foundation.

You may like to go through a presentation by the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr Akshai Aggarwal. Click HERE.


  • What is Design Thinking?

sticky notes illustration

Design thinking is a mindset. to develop a solution for a given circumstances, it helps streamlining the thinking through a systematic process. Over the world, there are more than a 100 different methods identified that uses the design thinking mindset. All it includes at every stage to keep on exploring possibilities by diverging thoughts and making choices and again exploring. Divergence and convergence of thoughts, it is.

Robson et. al. mentioned “unlike analytical thinking, design thinking includes “building up” ideas, with few, or no, limits on breadth during a “brainstorming” phase. This helps reduce fear of failure in the participant(s) and encourages input and participation from a wide variety of sources in the ideation phases. The phrase “thinking outside the box” has been coined to describe one goal of the brainstorming phase and is encouraged, since this can aid in the discovery of hidden elements and ambiguities in the situation and discovering potentially faulty assumptions.”

“Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Design thinking seeks to build ideas up, unlike critical thinking which breaks them down. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be, and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user (the customer).”Creativity at work.

“Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.”
– Tim Brown CEO, IDEO

  • Distinctions Between Design and Design Thinking

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
— Steve Jobs

“Design is the action of bringing something new and desired into existence—a proactive stance that resolves or dissolves problematic situations by design. It is a compound of routine, adaptive and design expertise brought to bear on complex dynamic situations.”
—Harold Nelson, The Design Way


Nigel Cross (2007), in his book Designerly Ways of Knowing, says, “Everything we have around us has been designed. Design ability is, in fact, one of the three fundamental dimensions of human intelligence. Design, science, and art form an ‘AND’ not an ‘OR’ relationship to create the incredible human cognitive ability.”
  • Science — finding similarities among things that are different
  • Art — finding differences among things that are similar
  • Design — creating feasible ‘wholes’ from infeasible ‘parts’

It makes sense, therefore, to break out of the silos we have created in organisations and develop a cross-disciplinary inquiry to foster innovation.


Design Thinking can foster Innovations

Yes, it does a lot.

The Design Thinking allows having multiple options whole exploring while diverging the thoughts and making a choice further leaves behind a number of options. One can revert (if for any reason one needs) to left behind options anytime and much of a time is saved.

In fact, the engineering refinement begins by making a choice from available alternatives explored and identified during thought divergence stages.



Watch Video (01:50 Min.)by Sean VanGenderen: This video will give you a better understanding of what design thinking is all about.

What is Design Thinking (4:21 Min.) by what-is-design-thinking.org: Design thinking is a powerful tool to tackle the unknown.

Please feel free to communicate to me directly OR kindly Leave your comments/ doubts/ remarks/ suggestions below.

– Prof. Bhasker V. Bhatt, a compilation of part information and part original text to guide students. The citations are attempted to the best possible however, there is no intention to violate anyone’s infringement/ copyright.

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