Herron School of Art and Design to debut Design and Thinking on September 12

Herron School of Art and Design will present Design and Thinking: a documentary on design thinking on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall.

The film (running time 74:11) entertainingly reveals the design thinking movement’s growing relevance to problem solving across business, culture and society.

The director, Mu-Ming Tsai, has won a Cannes Young Lion award for the film Wateraid for Dennis. In his first feature-length film, rather than create a paean to the beauty of design, he aims to bring forward the ambiguity, conflicts and messy process of how designers and other creative people think and do things.

Change-making organizations from a local bike shop to Coca-Cola provide real-world inspiration through design thinking in action. Thought leaders including David Kelley, Bill Moggridge, Roger Martin and Tim Brown share their belief that asking the right questions is more important than providing firm answers.

Pamela Napier and Terri Wada, faculty members in Visual Communication Design at Herron, agree that the time for such a movie is now. “With increasingly complex issues arising on multiple fronts in our current global economy,” said Napier, “design thinking has been gaining recognition as a powerful approach to creating effective and innovative solutions to many of the ‘wicked’ challenges that businesses, organizations, institutions and communities face today.”

“In places as close to Indianapolis as Chicago and as far as California,” said Wada, “creative design firms like IDEO and the design school at Stanford University have provided ample evidence of the power of design thinking applied to the creation of revolutionary objects and services.”

Herron became an early adopter of design thinking to provide real-world experiences and professional practice for its students. In its graduate degree program in visual communication design, which has had only four graduating classes, students have produced dozens of case studies where they and their faculty mentors have developed actionable solutions for real community challenges in collaboration with stakeholders. A Herron case study is featured in the new book by Andrew Shea, Designing for Social Change, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

“The inclusion of the Herron in Designing for Social Change is an acknowledgement of our contribution to this relatively young field. The fact that we’re listed among so many respected designers and design schools demonstrates Herron’s position within the leading edge of social design,” said Marshall Jones, Herron’s communication design specialist.

The September 12 event provides a unique opportunity for designers and non-designers alike to be inspired by what design thinking can do. Herron’s Visual Communication Design Graduate Studio will be open so that visitors can learn about some of the design thinking projects that are currently underway in Indianapolis.

This screening is being made possible by a generous donation from Wil Marquez, Creative Director and Owner of With Purpose  http://www.wpurpose.com/