« Learning by doing »
At the d.school, all our projects are developed through the design thinking approach. Students work on a brief provided by a partner (and industry, NGO, voluntary organization, company, public authority, etc.…) and begin their project with ethnographic research and the effort to understand the needs of the users for whom they want to innovate.
Adopting the users’ perspective from the start is central to design thinking values. Rather than starting with the development of new technologies or market-related quantitative analyses, going into the field to understand people in their real environment is a more promising and less risky way of designing innovations that are relevant and therefore generate growth, Whether incremental or breakthrough.
We also teach a culture of “learning by doing”: an idea is only worthwhile if it is made a reality; an idea is only worthwhile if it corresponds to a real need; an idea must grow and be nourished by interactivity with real users (and not cultivated in an environment shut off by confidentiality and disconnected from the world). Creativity and ethnographic research are mindsets and tools that vital at every phase of the process.