Design Thinking

The development of successful climate change adaptation initiatives requires human-centred solutions. The ResiliencebyDesign lab prioritizes the use of Design Thinking methodologies throughout our projects, placing the needs of people at the forefront of our work.

         Design Thinking encourages the development of solutions to complex problems, such as climate change, through a people-first, creative thinking process. This open avenue for bold, creative thinking and exploring ideas is developed in partnership with our communities. Design Thinking is rooted in disrupting the status quo to meet these communities’ unique goals and values, with the intent to build optimized and relevant solutions.

Design Thinking includes four key stages: Inspiration, Ideation, Iteration, and Implementation (DesignKit). Active participation and involvement from community members are integral to our work at the Resilience by Design lab, and our community research partners are centred as active participants/thought leaders throughout all stages of the Design Thinking process.

During the Inspiration phase, participants work alongside the RbD team to engage in inspired, creative, and outside-of-the-box thinking to shape solutions. Innovative methods might include RbD-facilitated sessions involving vision boards, focus groups, brainstorming, and other Creative-Action Research methods to explore participant ideas. These ideas offer innovative perspective solutions that can support the community’s needs. The Inspiration phase encourages disruptive, limitless thinking.

In the Ideation phase, the ideas shared in the Inspiration phase are further refined. We explore these innovative ideas, turning them into practical solutions and frameworks that can support the community at hand. The Ideation phase drives the Iteration phase, as these solutions undergo trial-and-error testing and continual revision. This process sustains the active involvement of the participants. Participants act as consultants and contributors upon each iteration of the resolution to build optimized and relevant solutions for the respective community ultimately.  

Design Thinking is foundational to building innovative, relevant problem solutions that directly support the needs and goals of our research partners. This active participation also encourages our participants’ development of agency, leadership, and capacity-building skills.