How Designers Can Contribute to Education

Innovating Educational Systems Through Design Thinking
  • Katja TschimmelEmail author
  • Joana Santos
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Based on continual social and technological transformations, many academics and governmental organisations call attention to the need for urgent changes in Education. Design Thinking (DT), an innovation method derived from design methodology connected to business innovation, has shown itself also as an useful method to be applied in the innovation of educational systems. This paper provides an introductional approach to Design Thinking and its possible role in educational contexts as a method to rethink learning/teaching experiences. For this purpose we present the conceptual background of Design and Design Thinking, introduce Design Thinking in Education, and present the D-Think Toolkit, a new framework which aims to support the understanding of the designer’s mindset and culture, and the application of its methods and tools in the redesign of education. The toolkit is the main result of the European research project D-Think, developed between 2014 and 2017 with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. The conclusion of our paper highlights that DT offers a complementary framework for the innovation work of educators, so transforming them into change-makers. The designers’ creative and empathic mindset and collaborative working approach can enrich the reflection on the educators new role as ‘learning facilitators’.


Education Design Thinking Innovation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESAD/MindshakePortoPortugal
  2. 2.ESAD/ESAD—IDEASenhora da HoraPortugal

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