Here is my desk……
I know, I know, it’s a mess! On the whole though, the area is fine – I’ve got all the necessary equipment; desk, computer, printer, there is a nice window, it’s warm and in a generally bright spot. It’s how the space makes me feel that makes me think this a problem area. It radiates disorganization, makes me feel cramped and confused and I usually find that sitting at this desk for too long makes me feel stressed and end up taking my lap top to another location to work.
So how do I start to redesign this area? If “design is the process that converts ideas into form, whether that is a plan of action or a physical thing. “ (Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. 2012., p. 103). Then surely the most critical aspect of understanding how to design, is understanding the process designers go through to make the intangible, tangible. In other words, it’s about getting inside the thinking of design in order to understand how to do it.
The definitions of design thinking are many and varied. While it seems to be championed by some as a process which can be used by anyone and which may help prepare people to ‘deal with difficult situations and to solve complex problems in school, in their careers and in life in general’ (Razzouk, R., & Shute, V., 2012 p 343), there is also suggestion in the literature that it is ‘not well understood, either by the public or those who claim to practice it’ (Kimbell, L. 2011 p 5).
So why are design thinking and the design process so important? Tim Brown’s assertion that “society needs a new approach to innovation which aligns the needs of human beings and the natural world’ seems to hit the nail on the head. Design thinking is important because leads us to a more ‘human –centered’ design process (Brown 2012) which involves considering needs and ‘consumer experiences’ (brown 2012 p 2). The design process then, allows us to “play, display and watch the re-play” (k Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. 2012., p. 115) or in other words, allowing for a process of ideas generation, trailing, feedback, adjustments, re-trialing and so on.
In the case of my desk, I needed to consider how this space was used, rather than thinking about how a desk space should look and function. The number one thing that I realized from this task is that when I go to my desk space to work, I’m going there to sort through ideas.
So here is what my desk space looks like now
As you can see, I’ve made a few changes….
As you can see, I’ve made a few changes….
I’ve cleaned up the space, attached some brown paper I had lying around to the wall in front of my desk which I can draw on, brainstorm, stick post-its on etc.
To liberate my papers from folders and to have them all easily accessible I’ve put up some string and attached them horizontally using clothes pegs from the washing line.
I’ve also moved the printer right away from the desk to the other side of the room so that I actually have to physically move to use it.
Finally, I’ve moved one of my favorite items next to my desk – the Art Deco vase. Researchers such as Temple (2008), Scott-Webber (2012.) and Boys (2011) suggest that the aesthetics and furnishings in a space do matter and may even have an effect on learning outcomes.
Boys, J. (2011). Towards creative learning spaces: Re-thinking the architecture of post-compulsory education. Routledge.
Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. Harper Business. p.37.
Doorley, S. & Witthoft, S. (2012) Make space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking design thinking: Part I. Design and Culture, 3(3), 285-306. http://www.lucykimbell.com/stuff/DesignPractices_Kimbell_DC_final_public.pdf
Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration: Transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson. https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/kuratko-d1.pdf
Scott-Webber, L. (2012). Institutions, educators, and designers: Wake up!: Current teaching and learning places along with teaching strategies are obsolete-teaching styles and learning spaces must change for 21st-century needs. Planning for Higher Education. 41(1), 265-277.
Temple, P. (2008). Learning spaces in higher education: an under-researched topic. London Review of Education. 6 (3), 229-241.
Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, September, 82 (3), 330–348. http://rer.sagepub.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/content/82/4/483.full.pdf+html
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