Design thinking and aesthetic meaning-making : Interlaced means to engage in collaborative knowledge-building

M. Zahedi, T. Poldma, S.E. Baha, T. Haats

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    Engaging in knowledge building that is collaborative and that integrates design thinking among interdisciplinary teams is increasingly a means to innovate in product and service design and in business. However, the actual ways this might be accomplished are challenging. These questions are important ones for design educators, researchers and practitioners. This paper studies the question from an educational point of view. It examines what happens when two design researchers and educators, one from an industrial design background and the other a design process oriented background, animate a workshop and how the participants roleplaying various stakeholders engage in design thinking, both as a discovery strategy and through the concept of ‘aesthetic meaning-making’. The workshop aims were to improve collaborative design thinking skills and to explore how a team of experts and non-experts interact within a design project to achieve consensus on goals. During the workshop participants became at once users and makers of emergent results. Two of the participants add their perspectives on how, in this scenario-based workshop project, the exchange of knowledge and learning occurred through both their phenomenological experiences and the collaborative inquiry. They also explain how collaboration among their respective teams resulted in their innovative propositions. Design thinking, complex project scenarios, and collaborative inquiry within interdisciplinary teams, in the context of design education, form the framework of this paper. The process is described, both in terms of the theoretical framework that underlies the concepts of meaning-making with users and as a form of engaging in experiential knowledge generation. The theoretical framework and workshop description introduce these concepts and the workshop engagement and results are presented, with perspectives from the workshop creators, the animator and the participants themselves.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Ninth NordDesign Conference, 22-24 August 2012, Aalburg, Denmark
    EditorsP.K. Hansen, J. Rasmussen, K.A. Jørgensen, C. Tollestrup
    Place of PublicationAalborg, Denmark
    PublisherAalborg University
    ISBN (Print)978-87-91831-51-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event9th Biannual NordDesign Conference, NordDesign 2012 - Aalborg, Denmark
    Duration: 22 Aug 201224 Aug 2012
    Conference number: 9


    Conference9th Biannual NordDesign Conference, NordDesign 2012
    Abbreviated titleNordDesign 2012
    Internet address


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