In partnership with Fundação Vanzolini, IntoActions offered the first Design Thinking course at Fundação Vanzolini’s main campus on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo. The course, which allowed participants to experience all the various phases of the Design Thinking process, was based on the methodology initially developed at the famous Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, also known as the d.school, at Stanford University.
For this short course, participants had to apply design thinking to tackle the following real world challenge: How can we improve the lunch experience at the nearby Top Center Shopping Mall? The focus of this one-day course was on understanding the problem space.
After a brief introduction to some of the key principles and techniques of design thinking, participants visited the shopping mall and used a variety of tools to connect with the various stakeholders of the dining area. The goal of this activity was to help participants gain empathy and understand the distinct needs and emotions of the stakeholders so that they could identify unique insights that could eventually lead to innovative solutions.
During their ‘field trip’ to the shopping mall, participants interviewed and observed patrons having lunch there. Participants also had lunch themselves there. Their empathy work, however, was not limited only to the people having lunch, but also to the staff members working in the dining area. After their return from the shopping mall, participants began to unpack all the data that they collected, using various tools to analyze the data.
Through some very simple prototyping, participants synthesized their findings and created some alternative solutions on how to improve the overall dining experience. For a short course of only eight hours, the results were pretty impressive.