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SUTD Sustainable Design Hack 2022

  • Greenprint SUTD

DESIGN THINKING 101! Highlights & More!

Updated: Feb 10

Thank you participants and facilitators for the successful workshop!

Welcome! This is your one-stop station to learn everything you need to start on your Design Thinking journey. This is also where we will update about our upcoming Design Thinking Workshop! That includes the details on the workshop, the timing and even the materials you will be using!


  1. Purpose of Workshop

  2. Workshop Details

  3. Workshop Materials

  4. Workshop Highlights

Purpose of Workshop

The SUTD Sustainable Design Hack is a sustainability themed ideation competition, seeking to draw attention to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Singapore's role in it. Through this event, we want to provide a conducive platform to facilitate discussions on sustainability in our daily lives and encourage ground-up initiatives.

Hence, through this workshop we will be introducing the Design Innovation (DI) Methodology and its Framework and how to apply it to your chosen design statement.

Design Statements

  1. How might we enable the use of hydrogen gas as alternative energy source in industrial power generation in Singapore?

  2. How might we increase the use of renewable energy of either residential communities or industrial facilities?

  3. How might we reduce greenhouse gas emissions of either transportation or the petroleum refinery industry in Singapore?

  4. How might we make urban farming more feasible in Singapore?

  5. How might we make F&B outlets in Singapore to be more sustainable?

DI is a human-centered and inter-disciplinary methodology to innovate on and address complex challenges in our world, which designers and engineers can use to create novel and impactful solutions for users and stakeholders. The four pillars of the DI methodology are People, Process, Methods and Principles. DI can be engaged in designing Products, Services and Complex Systems (PSS).

DI Process Figure

Workshop Details

Date: 2 - 3 January 2022

Time: 8:30am - 12:30pm

Duration: 4 hours (per day)

Location: Zoom (Link sent to participants)

The event has ended! Thank you to all participants who have joined us in the workshop! We have organized and collated materials and highlights from the event below.

Workshop Materials

Listed are the materials that would further aid your understanding and application of DI methodologies.

For participants, group-specific Miro boards, breakout recordings and overall workshop recordings will be provided.

Workshop Highlights

On both days we started bright and early, with participants clocking in and briefed on the schedule for both days. On Day 1, we went through the first 2 steps of of DI: Discover and Define then the following 2 steps Develop and Deliver on Day 2.

Day 1

Stage 1 Discover: To identify and understand opportunities

At this stage, we focus on understanding the situation at hand and to identify the opportunities for further research and development.

Method 1, Empathy Mindset

To learn and understand how to step in the shoes of others and understand their perspectives.

Method 2, Stakeholder Analysis

By first identifying the stakeholders involved and then further categorizing them in terms of their influence and interest, we would be able to differentiate and prioritize the opinions of these stakeholders, which would influence the decisions made when it comes to the development process.

Stakeholder Analysis Diagram

Method 3, Personas & Scenarios

By depicting a typical or extreme user and the possible scenarios they may face, allows us as developers to better understand the key characteristics of users and aids us in bringing a element of human touch to user research.

  1. Gather User Research from interviews and other data collection

  2. Consolidate identify common traits between users

  3. Present Personas Short descriptions of their needs and narratives.

  4. Ideate Scenarios with Key Users Utilizing 5W1H and include extreme cases.

  5. Prepare and Present the Problem From the scenarios extract context-specific needs

  6. Observe From the above simulation, extract latent needs and key insights and foresights

Example of Persona Activity

Stage 2 Define: To interpret and refine needs identified

In this stage, we focus on grouping and interpreting the needs of our target audience previously identified at the Discover phase. This allows us to better streamline the points we need to target with our solution.

Method 1, Mindfulness Mindset

To be mindful means to be purposefully aware of situations without judgement. It is an important value to have and embody at this stage of the process.

Test Yourselves!

Method 2, Affinity Analysis

This is a tool to use when it comes to organizing a large amount of data. For example, in the earlier activities many needs and scenarios arose. Through this tool, we can streamline and cluster similar needs together.

Example of Identifying Needs

Example of Clustering

Method 3, Hierarchy of Purpose

HOP is an approach to help reframe and scope the design opportunity statement in a quantitative way. This allows us to develop insights to discover various causes and effects in an opportunity and helps to quantify the metric of success.

  1. Write down original statement

  2. List 4 general statements have broader scope than original statement

  3. List 4 specific statements To increase or decrease the metric from baseline to desired level

  4. Review the list

Example of HOP

Day 2

Stage 3 Develop: To ideate and generate ideas based on opportunities

In this stage, we focus on grouping and interpreting the needs of our target audience previously identified at the Discover phase. This allows us to better streamline the points we need to target with our solution.

Method 1, Joyfulness Mindset

With this activity, focus on the value of developing and discovering more ideas without having too much consideration for feasibility. At this point being fearless in developing and generating ideas would be best. Remember the joy of creation without pressure! Have fun!

Method 2, Mindmapping

This is a method to organize the ideas generated and can be utilized at any stage.

  1. Design Opportunity Write down opportunity statement at the centre of board

  2. Categories Record various ideas under broad categories

  3. Sub Categories & Solutions Grow mind map by branching into sub categories and solutions

Template of Mind Map

Example of Mind Map

Method 3, C-Sketch

This is a rapid method to generate ideas. It is recommended to do this in person.

Try it yourself!

Method 4, Design by Analogy

Many ideas are often inspired by the world around us, like the shape of bullet trains inspired by the beaks of birds. This is a form of application of Design by Analogy.

  1. Identify keywords or prompts Words that addresses the problem or opportunity

  2. Ideate By looking at other fields, like in nature or other industries, drawing similarities in existing solutions or situations.

  3. Make and Apply inferences From existing solutions or situations to the problem or opportunity.

When doing this activity, keep an open-mind and do not limit yourself! You can also utilize tools such as World Tree and SCAMPER to do this.

Method 5, Real, Win, Worth

This is a strategy to manage risk and reward by rapidly assessing how marketable an innovation is. This can also reveal faulty assumptions and possible risks which helps to prevent and/or fix problems of idea execution.

Guiding Questions

Example of Use in Mind Map

Example of Use in Design by Analogy

Stage 4 Deliver: To prototype and test models and concepts with users

In this stage, we focus on grouping and interpreting the needs of our target audience previously identified at the Discover phase. This allows us to better streamline the points we need to target with our solution.

Method 1, Prototyping Canvas

This activity helps users to find out critical assumptions, prototyping goals, reduce resource waste and encourage intentional prototyping. The most important component of this activity would be setting our critical assumptions, for if it fails the project essentially fails.

  1. Record Let critical assumptions guide the prototyping process, fill in all except Insights

  2. Share Discuss with the team about the assumptions and questions

  3. Build, Test, Reflect Use the sketch and build plan to churn out a prototype

Method 2, Storyboarding

Storyboarding allows us to rapidly simulate the scenarios users may face and identify issues to improve our design on. They are visual descriptions of scenarios that capture actions and interactions between people, places and time.

  1. User What are your users' key characteristics?

  2. Context/ Focus What are the 3 most important details to convey? Where and when does the story take place?

  3. Flow of Events Discuss with your team and draw it out!

  4. Pitch & Gather Feedback Gather feedback from users/ audience to fuel further design iterations

Method 3, Prototyping Approaches

There are many ways to prototype and here are 5 approaches:

  1. Parallel prototyping

  2. Subsystem Isolation

  3. Mockups- Product, Service, System

  4. Storyboarding

  5. Wizard-of-Oz

These 5 approaches suit different scenarios and needs, hence before using any method, you must first determine the purpose and end goal of your prototype, and then determine the prototyping approach.

This is the end of our workshop recap! Hope that this will help all in your design process! Remember that this design process is iterative and it is natural to go back to any stage of the process and repeat. So do not worry and enjoy the design process!

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