Design Thinking

Design Thinking

CLT's goal is to integrate design thinking into the curriculum across disciplines to develop students’ creative and entrepreneurial thinking skills. We aim at establishing and maintaining an institutional structure that promotes experiential learning and supports design thinking education and implementation as the underlying framework for innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration across the University.

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a human-centered problem-solving approach that is practiced by fortune 500 companies, universities, governments and NGOs across the world to identify hidden opportunities, and design user-centered innovative products, services, businesses, governance and social solutions for tomorrow.

A key to the success of Design Thinking is its multidisciplinary team-based approach. It follows an intentional and iterative process to discover the day-to-day unmet needs and unarticulated aspirations of users, and develop solutions that balance user desirability, technical and structural feasibility and economic viability of proposed solutions.

Design Thinking relies on a culture of collaborative innovation, a key pillar in AUC's Strategic Plan moving forward. The anticipated value of this opportunity to our departments, service centers, programs, staff and students is eminent and of high impact, while moving forward with the University's strategic direction towards innovation and quality of education.

As AUC approaches its Centennial, the Center for Learning and Teaching, with the support of the Office of the Associate Provost for Research, Creativity and Innovation, is collaborating with the Hasso-Plattner Institute School of Design Thinking (HPI) to offer an immersive year-long program for educators as design thinking coaches and innovation enablers. The selected cohort is expected to integrate this innovative approach to problem-solving into the curriculum to foster real-life experiential learning experience for students. This initiative is in line with the Quality of Education and Innovation Pillars in the Centennial AUC Strategic Plan.

The selected cohort will receive design thinking training, coaches training and academic integration training and consultations throughout the duration of the fellowship. Upon completion, participants will receive a Design Thinking Coach and Educator certificate from AUC, and a certificate of participation from HPI-AUC events attended.

The fellowship program will launch with a Design Thinking for Educators Bootcamp, from January 22-24, 2019. This three-day experience provides educators with an in-depth introduction to Design Thinking and how it can be used to engage students in projects and assignments that foster engagement, innovation and creativity. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Experience a Design Thinking Challenge “Re-imagine the Future of Higher Education” (Day 1 and 2)
  • Practice facilitating part of the Design Thinking Process (Day 3)
  • Review and work with AUC and other Open Design Thinking materials from HPI and IDEO and Stanford School of Design Thinking (Days 1-3)
  • Participate in conversations about implementing Design Thinking in courses within a network with like-minded educators (Day 3)



During the first week of July 2018, a cohort of 24 AUC faculty members, staff members and graduate students, representing the entire AUC community, took part in a Design Thinking Bootcamp, designed and facilitated by the Hasso-Plattner Institute School of Design Thinking (HPI), in collaboration with design thinking experts at CLT, AUC.

The cohort spent four days in an immersive experience, learning and practicing the tools, mindsets and frameworks of design thinking. During the Bootcamp, participants got a chance to apply this user-centered innovation framework to solve a real-life design challenge, in collaboration with our industry partner, Valeo. Four multidisciplinary teams were tasked to design the future automated delivery experience in the age of smart mobility.  

We invite you to explore the highlights of our first global design thinking week in this video.