Design Thinking reinvents the student creativity process

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee (UT) Science Forum presented Dr. David Matthews’s Design Thinking lecture this past Friday.

The desire for a better future is the foundation for Design Thinking. Dr. Matthews highlighted how, “design is about going somewhere we have never been before.”

Dr. Matthews engaged the audience as he discussed the applications of Design Thinking.

Dr. Matthews engaged the audience as he discussed the applications of Design Thinking.

UT Science Forum President Amanda Womac noted that, “this topic today is definitely outside of the typical concept of what people think about science.” President Womac emphasized how design science uses empathy and community building to impact societal systems.

Positive impacts to society arise as Design Thinking addresses wicked problems. Wicked problems include societal and cultural barriers that lack a clear solution.

Dr. Matthews has worked in Haiti with the wicked problem of poverty. While designing in Haiti, Dr. Matthews focused on material poverty. Dr. Matthews used the strained resources to redesign for impactful change.

Within the creative process Dr. Matthews found that, “integrity, culture, and how we embrace those ideas are important to design.”

Dr. Matthews is the Associate Dean of Facilities and Technology and Chair of Interior Design in the College of Architecture and Design. Any college major is open to Dr. Matthews’s Design 130 and 430 courses, which integrate the process of Design Thinking.

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