University of Technology Sydney

54096 Design Thinking for Social Innovation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: IKM and Digital Studies
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10246-C10251, and Category Type = Bachelor's Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10252-C10263, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10264 Bachelor of Global Studies OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10269 Bachelor of Sound and Music Design OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10270 Bachelor of Sound and Music Design Bachelor of Arts International Studies OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10311 Bachelor of Arts Communication (Creative Writing) OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10312-C10313, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10314 Bachelor of Arts Communication (Digital and Social Media) OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10315-C10316, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10317 Bachelor of Arts Communication (Cultural Studies) OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10318-C10319, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10332-C10337, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10359 Bachelor of Communication (Digital and Social Media) Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10361-C10364, and Category Type = Bachelor's Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10365-C10368, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10369 Bachelor of Communication (Creative Writing) OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10370 Bachelor of Communication (Creative Writing) Bachelor of Arts International Studies OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10371 Bachelor of Communication (Digital and Social Media) OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10372-C10383, and Category Type = Bachelor's Combined Degree OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10276 Bachelor of Music and Sound Design OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10277 Bachelor of Music and Sound Design Bachelor of Arts International Studies OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10434-C10439 OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10425 Bachelor of Music and Sound Design Bachelor of Languages and Cultures OR 64 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10405 Bachelor of Communication (Creative Writing) Master of Teaching Secondary Education
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.

Description

This subject uses design-thinking methodologies to empower students to lead social entrepreneurship and innovation movements using interdisciplinary perspectives. It introduces students to the process of design thinking (defining the problem, empathising, ideating and innovating) using experimentation, and facilitates solutions through radical cross-boundary thinking in order to effect social change using a human-centred approach. This subject helps students develop the essential design-thinking skills of observing, interviewing, listening, empathising, team building, communicating, and analysing in order to imagine and create innovative solutions to common social issues by approaching it at a community level. Students, in teams that mimic professional roles, collaboratively develop a design solution for a real-world scenario through the process of generating, iterating, and evolving an innovative project plan that they can add to their portfolios.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Apply a design thinking methodology to tackle a ‘big picture’ problem or a social justice issue in society through proposing a small but significant change at a local level.
b. Engage in radical collaboration with students from across disciplines and mentors from both university and industry.
c. Empathise with users/clients in a specific domain, and from this, develop a point of view towards a chosen problem
d. Actively reflect on the processes and methodologies being used, and be able to identify learning needs and seek answers independently.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Possess a well-developed awareness of professional practice in the context of the communication industries (1.1)
  • Apply theoretically informed understanding of the communication industries in independent and collaborative projects across a range of media (1.2)
  • Possess information literacy skills to locate, gather, organise and synthesise information across diverse platforms to inform the understanding of the communication industries (2.1)
  • Be reflexive critical thinkers and creative practitioners who are intellectually curious, imaginative and innovative, with an ability to evaluate their own and others' work (2.2)
  • Possess the awareness of ethical practice in the personal, political and professional contexts of civil society (5.1)
  • Possess well-developed skills and proficiencies to communicate and respond effectively and appropriately across different contexts (6.1)
  • Demonstrate digital literacy and production skills across a range of media and media texts (6.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will be taught in an online live virtual classroom using UTS Office 365 and Teams, with a mix of online streaming videos, live collaboration, and through facilitating connections between industry clients and student groups; industry clients are drawn from NGOs, charities, NFPs, university, social enterprise, and government organisations.

Content (topics)

This subject spans theoretical and intellectual insights from several disciplines including Communication, Design, Sociology, Anthropology, User Experience, Human Psychology, IT, and Digital Studies, all tied together through the Design Thinking approach. The subject will also draw heavily on Design Theory, Sensemaking Theory, Framing Theory, and Systems Theory. Content will include theoretical concepts around observations, interviews, listening, persona building, storytelling, empathy, and ethics in order to imagine and create innovative solutions to common social issues by approaching it at a community level. Students, in teams that mimic professional roles, collaboratively develop and design a solution space for a real-world problem space, using stakeholder analysis and system thinking.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Problem Definition and Empathy Mapping (Group task)

Objective(s):

b, c and d

Weight: 20%
Length:

A 5-minute recorded video to be presented live in class (for class input), and a 1000-word proposal to be submitted online.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clarity of problem formulation and accuracy in reflecting the partner’s briefing. 20 b 2.2
Evidence of human-centred approach through original ethnographic research 20 b, d 1.1
Rigorous and insightful diagnosis of empathy map and links 20 b, c 2.1
Evidence of individual effort within group 40 b 2.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Design Journal (Individual task)

Objective(s):

a, c and d

Weight: 50%
Length:

A 250-word entry per week, plus other additional media as appropriate.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Ability to reflect upon in-class discussion, teamwork, and topics covered in class with evidence 30 a 6.1
Evidence of research, analysis and interpretation of design thinking as a methodology 20 c 6.2
Application of design thinking methodology to real-world situations and observations 30 d 1.2
Effectiveness of images, drawings, texts, photos and other layout elements to show evidence of learning 20 d 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Final Project Report and Business Proposal (Group Task)

Objective(s):

a, b, c and d

Weight: 30%
Length:

Maximum 3000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Evidence of responding to feedback from users, peers, teachers, and partners 10 a, b, c, d 2.2
Evidence of original, industry and scholarly research to create a plausible, well considered proposal 20 a, b, d 5.1
Clarity and originality of written proposal demonstrating clear, succinct, professional communications 10 d 1.1
Quality of presentation – clear, succinct, professional communications, supported by effective audio-visual material 20 a, b 1.2
Evidence of individual effort within group 40 b 2.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

These requirements are in addition to those laid out in the FASS Student Study Guide.

Required texts

  1. Brown, T., Wyatt, J. 2010 ‘Design Thinking for Social Innovation’, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2010, pp. 29-35. Accessible here: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/design_thinking_for_social_innovation# (can be downloaded as PDF for free)
  2. Dalton, J., & Kahute, T. 2016 ‘Why Empathy and Customer Closeness is Crucial for Design Thinking’,Design Management Review, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 20–27. Accessible here: https://doi.org/10.1111/drev.12004
  3. Dam, R. F., Teo, Y. S. 2020 ‘Stage 2 in the Design Thinking Process: Define the Problem and Interpret the Results’, Interaction Design Foundation. Accessible here: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/stage-2-in-the-design-thinking-process-define-the-problem-and-interpret-the-results
  4. Dam, R. F., Teo, Y. S. 2019 ‘Introduction to the Essential Ideation Techniques which are the Heart of Design Thinking’ Interaction Design Foundation. Accessible here: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/introduction-to-the-essential-ideation-techniques-which-are-the-heart-of-design-thinking
  5. Dam, R. F., Teo, Y. S. 2020 ‘Prototyping: Learn Eight Common Methods and Best Practices’, Interaction Design Foundation. Accessible here: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/prototyping-learn-eight-common-methods-and-best-practices
  6. Elsbach, K. D. (2003). How to pitch a brilliant idea. Harvard business review, 81(9), 117-134. Accesible from: https://hbr.org/2003/09/how-to-pitch-a-brilliant-idea
  7. Turner, D. 2010 ‘Qualitative Interview Design: A Practical Guide for Novice Investigators’, The Qualitative Report, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 754–760. (download from UTS Library databases).
  8. Guy Peters, B. 2017 ‘What is so wicked about wicked problems? A conceptual analysis and a research program’, Policy and Society, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 385-396. Accessible here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14494035.2017.1361633?scroll=top&needAccess=true
  9. Stevens, E. 2019 ‘User Testing: A Guide To Step 5 Of The Design Thinking Process’ Career Foundry. Accessible here: https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/user-testing-design-thinking/

Recommended texts

  1. Carlgren, L., Rauth, I. & Elmquist, M. 2016, 'Framing Design Thinking: The Concept in Idea and Enactment', Creativity and Innovation Management, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 38-57.

  2. Dorst, K. 2011, 'The core of ‘design thinking’ and its application', Design Studies, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 521-32.

  3. IDEO. 2015, Human Centered Design Toolkit. Download from https://www.ideo.com/post/design-kit
  4. Johansson-Sköldberg, U., Woodilla, J. & Çetinkaya, M. 2013, 'Design Thinking: Past, Present and Possible Futures', Creativity and Innovation Management, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 121-46.
  5. Manzini, E., 2007, Design Research for Sustainable Social Innovation, Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects, Birkhäuser, Basel.
  6. Manzini, E., 2015, Design, when everybody designs: an introduction to design for social innovation, MIT Press, Cambridge. E-text available from UTS Library
  7. Manzini, E., 2010, Small, Local, Open, and Connected: Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, Journal of Design Strategies, Vol.4 No. 1, p8-11. Accessible from http://sds.parsons.edu/designdialogues/?post_type=article&p=501
  8. van der Bijl-Brouwer, M. & Dorst, K. 2017, 'Advancing the strategic impact of human-centred design', Design Studies, vol. 53, pp. 1-23.

References

  1. Andrews, K., Social Design: Delivering Positive Social Impact, 2010, This is Service Design Thinking. Marc S., & Jakob S., ed. BIS Publishers, Amsterdam, 2010. p88-93.
  2. Blossom, E., 2011, Material Change: Design Thinking and the Social Entrepreneurship Movement, Metropolis Books, New York: Metropolis Books.
  3. Brown, T. & Wyatt, J., 2015, Design Thinking for Social Innovation, Annual Review of Policy Design, Vol. 3., No.1. Accessible from http://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/design/article/view/1272
  4. Brown, T., 2011, Why Social Innovators Need Design Thinking, Stanford Social Innovation Review, November 2011. Accessible from https://ssir.org/articles/entry/why_social_innovators_need_design_thinking
  5. Chowdhury, I., & Santos, F. M., 2010, Scaling Social Innovations: The Case of Gram Vikas, INSEAD Working Papers Collection, Issue 10, p1-34, 35p. Accessible from https://sites.insead.edu/facultyresearch/research/doc.cfm?did=43646
  6. Christensen, C. M., Baumann, H., Ruggles, R., & Sadtler, T. M., 2008, Disruptive Innovation for Social Change, Harvard Business Review, December 2008. Accessible from https://hbr.org/2006/12/disruptive-innovation-for-social-change
  7. Clune, S., 2010, Design and Behavioral Change, Journal of Design Strategies, Vol. 4, No. 1, p68-76, 9p. Accessible from http://sds.parsons.edu/designdialogues/?post_type=article&p=549
  8. Darwin, T., 2010, From the Townhall into the Studio: Design, Democracy, and Community Resilience, Journal of Design Strategies, Vol, 4 No. 1, 29-33. Accessible from http://sds.parsons.edu/designdialogues/?post_type=article&p=510
  9. Dorst, K. et al., 2016, Designing for the Common Good. BIS Publishers, Amsterdam.
  10. Ericson, M., & Mazé, R., 2011, DESIGN ACT: Socially and Politically Engaged Design Today: Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics. Sternberg Press, Stockholm.
  11. Jankel, N., 2011, Radical Reinvention: Why There Are So Few Breakthrough Social Innovations and 20 Recommendations to Overcome the Barriers, WeCreate, White Paper. Accessible from https://jbctm.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/radicalreinvention.pdf
  12. Jégou, F., & Manzini, E., 2008, Collaborative Services: Social Innovation and Design for Sustainability. Edizioni POLI.design, Milano, Italy. Accessible from http://www.experimenta.es/en/in-depth/collaborative-services-social-innovation-and-design-sustainability-3715/
  13. Kolko, J., 2012, Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving. A Handbook and Call to Action, AC4D, Austin, TX. (Full text available for free online: www.wickedproblems.com)
  14. Le Dantec, C., 2016, Designing Publics, MIT Press, Cambridge.
  15. Margolin, V., 2008, Design for a Sustainable World, Design Issues, Vol. 14 No. 2, p83-92. Accessible from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1511853?origin=JSTOR-pdf&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  16. McCoy, K., Good Citizenship: Design as a Social and Political Force, Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility. Steven H., & Veronique V., ed., Allworth Press, New York, p2-8, 7p.
  17. Papanek, V., 1971, Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change, Pantheon Books, New York.

Other resources

Weekly resources and weekly readings will be available on UTS Online.

This subject requires you to remotely attend a virtual classroom online and hence you will need a device with an internet connection, and some headphones depending on where you are. Please also make sure to keep your environment distraction free for the duration of the class. We will take a 10-minute break at the top of the hour for every hour of class.