Featured Course

Design Thinking

Taming Chaos by Design

A group of coworkers collaborate with ideas around a large table.Have you ever worked on a large project, one with many moving parts and sundry important points to address? Were you intimidated by the project’s scope, the chaos of needing everything to come together at once? Did you wish there were a better, easier method for attack, a process to make things more manageable?

Virajita Singh, senior research fellow and adjunct assistant professor in the College of Design, is already thinking circles around this better approach. “Traditionally, design has focused on products, but the promise of design thinking is applying it to processes large and small, collective and/or personal,” she says. Design Thinking taps the creative ideas of the many rather than the few, making the process as beneficial to individuals working on expansive goals as it is to a company trying to develop and market a product. 

In her one-session course (Design ThinkingAugust 1), Singh will explore how activities such as taking a big-picture view, listening to internal processes, prototyping, and testing, as well as engaging in empathy and collaborative creativity, can go a long way in advancing your vision.

All of the answers are there, in front of and within you: you simply have to train yourself to perceive them and their relationship to one another and act using your creativity. 

“I am trained as an architect and have spent many years learning about design and practicing it in India and in the United States,” notes Singh. Over the years, she’s focused her energies on design research and using design thinking with nonprofits and in sustainable design projects for communities in greater Minnesota. She also brings her design thinking mindset to her primary responsibilities at the University as assistant vice provost in the Office for Equity and Diversity.

Singh’s take on the practice? 

“Of course, I'm biased, but if anyone is interested in finding ways to transcend constraints and learn a way to create new futures, design thinking teaches you how to do that.”

Course Details

Design Thinking
Tuesday, August 1, 1−5 p.m., $95

Virajita Singh, assistant vice provost, Office for Equity and Diversity; senior research fellow and adjunct assistant professor, College of Design, University of Minnesota, began her artistic journey before going on to study architecture in India and the US.