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Who is Design Thinking for?


Saakshar Makhija, Janhavi Deshpande, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Design thinking has been revolutionary. There are many examples of its successful application providing innovative solutions. Nike, Apple, and Microsoft have been prosperous while catering to human needs. Their success stories are a result of an efficient application of design thinking. The pent-up demand makes us wonder, "Who is design thinking for?"

The answer is quite simple - design thinking is for everyone.

Saakshar Makhija, Janhavi Deshpande, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

We are all surrounded by complex systems. The process begins with understanding them. Foremost, it helps in breaking these systems down and simplifying them. Design thinking is a problem-solving process. It is about dealing with problems in new ways. One looks at problems from new angles and attempts to innovate in new ways. It incorporates analytical thinking to fabricate diverse solutions. This then tapers to an optimal solution. Even the common person can make use of the power of design thinking and solve problems at any scale.


Whether one adopts it or not, design thinking is already driving the development and innovation of systems. People across diverse businesses need direct structured knowledge and exposure to design thinking. In leading companies, design thinking is transforming how they create value. Be it through consumer-centric or user-experience-focused strategies. It is shifting the approach from being engineering-driven to a design-driven one. The design thinking structure enables the integration of ethnographic tools into the process. Following the first tool of design thinking - empathy- results in a better understanding of varied perspectives.

Saakshar Makhija, Janhavi Deshpande, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Solutions have proven to be more successful when they incorporate user-driven processes. But, it is a hurdle to cross when one has to innovate something new. It has to be based on what a customer would want but has never existed in the past. Thus, the factor of uncertainty in innovation is inescapable. Innovators need to build a portfolio of varied options. Besides, they need to let go of a few ideas no matter how attached they get.


With the ease of communication, there has been a rise in the number of institutions emerging. People can set up teams from different geographic locations and take initiatives. There is immense global potential for holistic teams that fulfil needs at all levels. The corporate world is also moving towards leaner ways of organisation. Legacy industries like finance, healthcare, and construction are optimising their methods. By bringing into play diverse voices, they are working on improving the solutions.

Saakshar Makhija, Janhavi Deshpande, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

In healthcare, there is a need for continuous innovation to meet the needs of patients. There are times when stakeholders are not a part of the process. As a consequence, a few services remain unused since they do not account for human context.


Design thinking identifies and closes gaps in the implementation process by including user needs. Whereas in fintech, it is imperative that banks provide consumer experience and formulation. Financial institutions develop products based on internal processes rather than consumer opinions. The core concepts of design thinking, including human-centered approaches, can aid these industries.


Since the onset of the pandemic, industries have adopted post-COVID strategies to fuel innovation. They are trying to reboot the world to create a new normal that could benefit everyone. This begins with empathising at the preliminary stage of design thinking. It is about moving towards a better understanding of people within the organisation. Besides, each design thinking activity shapes the experiences of the innovators in profound ways.

Saakshar Makhija, Janhavi Deshpande, Esha Biddanda Pavan, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Design Thinking, Innovation, Product, Marketing, Systems Thinking, Collaboration, Leadership, Problem Solving, Human Centered, Psychology, Consumer Behaviour, Zeyka, Zeyka India

The most dramatic rise in the adoption of design thinking has been in schools, colleges and universities. Most developing countries have a young median age. These youth have been modifying their career tracks off late. Yet, innumerable structural difficulties have resulted in reduced opportunities for them. Nonetheless, young entrepreneurs are turning to the lens of design thinking for a deeper understanding. Irrespective of them studying or working, they are taking comprehensive approaches. Furthermore, they are working towards preparing technology-driven solutions that cater to the marketplace.


Technological innovation and design thinking have a close link. The successive patterns result in a better perception of innovation. Technology institutes and research centres are crucial to the open innovation process. Conditioning factors such as internal culture and the environment of an organization play key roles. New knowledge develops new technology, which in turn pushes the possibility of prototyping. This further results in the development, testing, and scaling of a product.


Design thinking to some might seem like a compounded network. But, if understood well and put to the right use, it can yield scintillating results. One can apply design thinking while tackling ill-defined problems in day-to-day life. Through brainstorming and visualization processes, one can work on diverse solutions. Design thinking is a tool that can be used by everyone at different points in their life- yielding constructive results.



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About the Writer

Saakshar Makhija is an undergraduate architecture student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. He is the Co-Founder of Emblema Designs, a graphic design, and digital marketing venture. He has experience working with Rethinking The Future (RTF) and India Lost and Found (ILF) by Amit Pasricha. He attended the summer school organised by the "Rafael Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture" by the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), Spain.


About the Editor

Esha Biddanda Pavan is an architect and urbanist currently based out of Toronto, Canada. She is a graduate of the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK, and the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Bangalore. She has experience working at Kitsune Consulting, Cardiff University Business School, Weaving Thoughts, Keha Casa, Kabir Hira Architects and a-designstudio.


About the Illustrator

Janhavi Deshpande is an undergraduate architecture student at the Sir JJ College of Architecture. She is an illustrator, designer and dancer. She is interested in photography and writes stories as a hobby. She is inquisitive about exploring new perspectives in art and architecture.

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