Design Thinking: Process or Magic?

September 6, 2016 | DesignPhiladelphia, 2016 Festival

While you will experience amazing creative variety as you explore DesignPhiladelphia, every creative expression has one thing in common: It started with design thinking. 

The simple definition of design thinking is “the way designers think.” The designers behind every piece of work on display during DesignPhiladelphia — like the graphic and web designers on my team at Hollister Creative — think differently. 

In my view, this is due to a magical alchemy of imagination and training that enables them to envision things no one has seen before. Their minds don’t get stuck in the familiar ruts that stymie creativity. Designer brains have a HOME button that can always take them back to a blank canvas of infinite possibilities. 

Hollister Creative sponsored DesignPhiladelphia this year to contribute, celebrate and support design thinking. Our design team created the HOME logo on the cover of this event guide. And we paired up with University of the Arts on the Explorer track to support a UArts project that involves design thinking as a teachable process. 

The idea that design thinking is a process originated with Tim Brown of IDEO. He saw the possibilities in analyzing the way designers think and distilling it into well-defined steps that non-designers could be taught. Design thinking programs based on Brown’s protocols and others’ are now being used to cultivate innovation and solve problems in fields from business to education to healthcare. 

Process or magic? You will gain the most from DesignPhiladelphia if you embrace design thinking as both. Imagine how this approach to innovation and problem-solving could be applied in your field. And marvel at the magic of designer creativity. 

Kim Landry 
President, Hollister Creative

Hollister Creative are the creative minds behind this year's DesignPhiladelphia graphics. Click here to learn more about Hollister.

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