MY EXPERIMENT REVEALED during Design Thinking Week 2018

This year’s edition of Design Thinking Week in Kraków was short in time, but not in ideas and passion. There were workshops on how to become more empathetic, a project to create new version of a traditional Cracovian hat that would appeal as a souvenir, and a meetup of officially christened Service Design Network Chapter Poland (a part of the global Service Design Network). I was happy that this year all design thinkers in Krakow were interested to hear about an experiment I performed in Derry, Northern Ireland while living and working there.


The experiment started because I felt I failed the first workshop I was hired to do. I had a project of teaching design thinking to kids at the local college. Easy enough, project-based, interwoven into their curriculum but based on their work only. At this point I knew Derry and its problems quite well, I did my research on the social cases, talked to my friends. I felt ready. So I went, I started, and… the kids were silent, didn’t want to participate (and I mean more than I expected them to), and were quite rowdy and unruly even to their usual teachers (something that was quite unacceptable for me, to be honest).


I decided then to turn this into an experiment and see if I can use design thinking and service design thinking principles to design my relationship with them. Not only redesign the workshops but actually, treat our contact as a service and try to treat them how people should not be treated – objectively. But only for the purpose of my experiment!


This was a challenge. It was hard to turn off my empathy towards others, and my constant need to be an active part of the local community. I needed not to be the facilitator, but plan this as a service.


You can read more about the actual project here: Atlantic Social Lab – project-based design thinking project at local college in Derry.


You can read more about the meetup in Krakow in Polish here: Article about SDN Chapter Poland meet-up during DT Week 2018 in Cracow, in Polish.