For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Design Thinking and Doing

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1:00 PM-4:00 PM

There is no workshop on campus quite like this one! Design Thinking and Doing is a highly interactive workshop that sheds light on how to frame and re-frame problems to identify market opportunities. You will learn new tools on how to develop empathy through a human centered design approach and its relation to business endeavors.

Register at

How does it work?

This fast paced, 2.5-hour workshop kicks off with a brief overview of design thinking and its core elements in terms of setting the right mindset to apply the tools and methods provided. A set of "house-rules" are introduced to make sure everybody gets the most out of this workshop, followed by a roadmap of what will happen. The participants are working in teams of 3-5 and are provided with large paper, sticky notes and sharpies.

Before the topic is revealed, the double diamond design process is introduced, which includes and explanation of the diverging and converging nature of the design thinking process. The participants immerse into the topic using the framework 5W+H (who, what, when, where, why, and how).

This will lead into a mind mapping exercise to narrow down what needs to be researched. The participants are introduced to contextual research methods and send out to conduct the research in person and on site.

Returning from the "field trip," participants debrief and synthesize the data in form of personas and journey maps. This is then formulated into a problem statement and a set of criteria.

Participants move on to ideating concepts, selecting one, sketching out a quick pitch and sharing back with the team.


Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, MFA, IDSA is assistant professor and associate program director of Product Design at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design.

Prior to working at Drexel she served in design and research positions at Ohio State University, Lear Corp. and the iDS-Industrial Design Studio in Hamburg, Germany. She previously taught in three degree programs at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) were she founded and originally lead the M.A. and Minor in Design for Sustainability and later coordinated the eLearning Program in Design Management.

Her research focus is on the diffusion of design thinking practices in design and non-design oriented disciplines in academia, local communities, and industry.

Diana Nicholas RA, AIA, NCARB: A hybrid practitioner in the Department of Architecture + Interiors, Professor Nicholas is a registered architect, researcher and artist who lives and works in Philadelphia. She instructs Graduate and Undergraduate Interiors Students and students from disciplines across the University in Sustainability. In addition to overseeing the Sustainability in the Built Environment Minor at Drexel, and the Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives minor; Professor Nicholas teaches interdisciplinary immersive courses centered on community engagement; material and making processes.

After completing a Bachelor of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, she received her MFA in Painting from the University of the Arts. She is founder along with colleague Debra Ruben of the Studio for Immersive Design and Engagement (SIDE), a laboratory for community design and immersive research. Ms. Nicholas has taught architecture and design for 14 years. She has presented research works at both national and international conferences and most recently, she presented at the Environmental Design Research Association in New Orleans and The Interior Design Educator Association's annual conference in Perth, Australia. SIDE is a collaborative laboratory in which installation artworks, performance and small design build architecture projects are explored through various design thinking and human centered processes.

Her current research practice is focused on participatory and collaborative design practice; environmental analysis and fabrication methods. This work is often situated in the urban environment and seeks to be materially experimental. and created in collaboration with students, community members, non-profits and other artists.

Contact Information

Charles Sacco

Remind me about this event. Notify me if this event changes. Add this event to my personal calendar.


ExCITe Center
3401 Market, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Everyone