Lake and Guo present on ‘Mapping the Terrain of Design Thinking’

Pedagogies & Outcome: The Center for Design Thinking Presents at the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) Symposium

Director of the Center for Design Thinking and Associate Professor Danielle Lake and Assistant Professor of Arts Administration Wen Guo presented at the 9th Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) Symposium held virtually Oct. 12-17 by the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India.

The symposium is led by The International Society for Systemic Design. The goal is to foster emerging practices and theory development in design for complex contexts. It celebrates design outcomes and programs informed by research, real applications, and practices to address problems in the unbounded complexity of social and ecological systems.

Lake and Guo co-presented in a session titled “Methodology, philosophy, and theory of systemic design.” Their presentation, “Mapping the Terrain of Design Thinking Pedagogies & Outcomes” focuses on understanding how design and systems thinking might catalyze inclusive, participatory, project-based pedagogies that yield valued outcomes across university curricula. Their research findings revealed areas of key consensus among Elon faculty around valued outcomes from implementing DT-infused pedagogies and the significance of systemic thinking in fostering a community of practice for teaching innovation.

They also shared the center’s current work spearheading cross-institutional research on DT pedagogies with the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University. This longitudinal research is designed to assess student and faculty perceptions of DT curricular practices and outcomes, providing opportunities to capture how such pedagogies build capacities after graduation. The partnership is also intended to support the creation of a regional hub for assessing and disseminating design thinking research across higher education.

In light of the global pandemic, this year’s theme was Systemic Design for Well-being (From Human to Humane). Scholars, design practitioners, and students in Asia, Europe, and North America presented their work in workshops, panels, presentations, posters, and complex visualizations. Insights on systemic changes and innovation highlighted emerging theories and praxis across a range of fields, including engineering, public health, civic engagement, activism, political economy, public policy, and philosophy. The 10th RSD will be held by Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherland, in 2021.