POP-Up Design Thinking Lab

Educators bring their Problems Of Practice (POP) to rotating venues around town to have design teams develop solutions via Design Thinking.

Photo of Paul Kim
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3 years ago, Alex Hernandez began Design EDU in the Denver metro area.  Using a variety of facilities around town (popping up), educators would bring their problems of practice (POP) to events where facilitators would walk groups through a design thinking protocol to ideate possible solutions to the problems that were presented.  These events occurred about once every 2 months for about 18 months and the practice has been adopted and adapted by different schools, districts, and organizations.  This could be adapted within a school culture where groups of teachers come together and use design thinking protocols to work through problems they are facing in their classroom practices.

We try to use design thinking in a variety of ways at my school.  In hiring practices, in some meetings, and in some of our humanities courses.

This ideas has elements of ideas posted on The Teacher's Guild by Lisa Yokana, Trever Reeh, Chris Good, and Sara Speicher.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dan Blake

I love the application of design thinking in addressing the myriad of issues facing schools. Starting from a place of empathy and clearly understanding the needs of the individuals involved leads to much more provocative ideas and much bolder solutions. Glad to hear your school has embraced this approach.

Photo of Jessica Lura

I love the focus on using design thinking as educators to solve problems we face. You should definitely add something similar as an idea in the ideate stage--I'd love to see how it looks fleshed out. (and the SparkTruck is pretty cool--I got to visit it as Stanford last year but more of its focus seems to be on making and developing maker mindsets--which of course has elements of the mindsets you use in design thinking)

Photo of Chris Good

I love the idea of a pop up to bring d-thinking to the people! And really love the "Problems of Practice" concept and tie in. I recently read about something called SparkTruck which served as a travelling design thinking roadshow. i wonder how these ideas might co-mingle. http://sparktruck.org/

Photo of Paul Kim

Chris -- Yes! I once looked at the instructions for building a Spark Truck. In a session where I shared one of my own problems of practice, one of the suggestions was to repurpose a school bus for PD that would drive around town and park in school lots and work with teachers on their problems. THANKS!