Practical Design Thinking Workshops

‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’

Albert Einstein

Everyone can be creative

I run lively and light hearted, practical workshops for communities, employees and the general public. Whether you are in touch with your creativity or have yet to unlock creative potential, my workshops are an excellent way to develop collaboration and build effective teams and communities. You will learn creative problem-solving skills that can improve confidence and inform decision making in every aspect of life.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a collaborative approach to problem solving, often referred to as ‘Human Centred’ design. Using a structured method that enables anyone to solve problems creatively, our starting point is empathic questioning of conundrums. By encouraging this human centred strategy, it becomes easier to define problems and find solutions. Design thinking is a hugely transferable skill that supports growth and inclusion in all walk of life, as a personal tool, a business strategy or as a team building method.

What to expect in my workshops

Workshops can be anything from an hour to a day long. I work with each client to create a bespoke workshop that is tailored to a real time problem. Examples include relaxation spaces for craftspeople, gifts for strangers, perfect bags for individuals.

We start with a quick introduction to the concept of human centered design and Design Thinking.

Working in small groups or pairs, participants are encouraged and guided to ask questions to open up the predetermined problem. This enables the participants to start redefining the question and helps them focus on the real issues.

Participants are then taken through a series of short activities to practice a creative mindset which will be applied to their problem and considered.

We then prototype using clean waste materials.

Finally we test the prototypes, leading to further discussion and refined ideas to improve solutions.

By the end of a Design Thinking Workshop learners will be able to

  • Apply Design Thinking principles to solve problems
  • Define individual requirements and design to them
  • Understand the importance of human centered design 
  • Confidently generate creative solutions
  • Prototype to better communicate their ideas
  • Develop their own toolkit of strategies to help them innovate

Who is Lisa Cole

I am a multidisciplinary designer, maker and artist with over 30 years experience teaching creative workshops in Bristol and beyond.

Workshops for Education

For schools, colleges and universities I tailor the course content to fit the curriculum. I provide reading material, handouts and a PowerPoint presentation as needed, as well as bringing all the materials needed to run the workshop.

Materials for a workshop designed to encourage fluid ideation for Bath Spa University

Community Workshops

I’ve delivered drop in Design Thinking workshops for IKEA and Waitrose as well as structured workshops for KWMC and local reuse groups. These workshops focus on a challenge and I guide the participants through the process of human centered design, teaching them new making skills as required. For IKEA the ‘Design your perfect bag’ all day workshop saw people drop in and out of the maker space. Each left with something they had designed to fit their needs perfectly. One person made a huge bag to fit her allotment grown leeks, another designed a series of small bags to lock up her credit cards.

Waste Materials

Sustainability is a key aspect of my workshops. I use clean waste materials to align my professional practice with the wider issues of protecting our planet.

Learners can be intimidated by new materials. Using scrap allows learners to transcend external pressures of perfection, opening up unrestricted opportunity to be more creative.

Why is Prototyping important?

Low fidelity prototyping using materials otherwise destined for landfill is a no risk approach to testing ideas. A tangible representation of a solution is created, quickly and clearly. This enables people to communicate their ideas better and helps people see what works and what doesn’t.

If you want more information about the courses I run please get in touch.


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