Aira Aija Krumina


The concept of “design thinking” is thought to originate at late 60’s of the last century when the first books in this regard were published. Latest in 1987, Professor P. G. Rowe, (University of Harvard) describes design thinking as a process and a method which can be used in various disciplines, including in education. Thus the field of design and architecture began; nowadays design thinking has become an effective learning strategy. The method is based on not declining anything right off the bat but rather go in-depth, test, analyze, look at things multiple (at least two) times and look at them from different angles. It is believed that each of us has design thinking, we only need to activate it, “set it free”, and the faster we do it, the better; that is exactly why design thinking should be started at an early age, during school years, not only when in college or university.

Design thinking as a thought process is one of the future skills which will be needed in 21st century’s wide variety of fields – design, economics, construction, architecture, engineering, technology and, of course, in education.

Different sources of literature point out a different number of designs thinking stage (thinking “steps”) count: from three to seven or eight that can be represented both as a linear process and as a single complex system in which interconnection of stages/ steps is seen.

In the study course of pedagogy students of different study programs and study courses (physiotherapists, audiologists, orthotics-prosthetists, nutrition specialists, social workers) tested and evaluated some of the basic principles of design thinking, such as empathy, creativity, collaboration, responsibility and interdisciplinary approach. Also students adapted and improved pedagogical strategies for developing design thinking in the practice. Those strategies were: generation ideas, designing and presentation of possible solutions, solving problems, creation prototypes, drawing empathy maps. The first results of approbated design thinking principles and methods are analyzed in this article.


design thinking in pedagogy; principles and methods of design thinking; study process

Full Text:



Brown, T. (2008). Definitions of design thinking. Retrieved from

Brown, T. & Martin, R. (2015). Design for action. Harvard Business Review, September 93(9), 58–64.

Cross, N. (2001). Designedly Ways of Knowing: Design Discipline versus Design Science. Design Issues, Vol. 17, No. 3, 49-55.

Campbell, E. (2015). The magazine of Creative Education Trust schools. March, Nr.2.

Creativity, Inspiration. Think Outside The Box. Retrieved from

Design thinking. Retrieved from

Design Thinking for Educators. Retrieved from attachments/design_thinking_toolkit.pdf

Empathy Map – Why and How to Use It. Retrieved from

Goodson, P. (2010). Theory in Health Promotion Research and Practice: Thinking Outside the Box. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Deacon, A. (2013). Pedagogic Strategies to Support Learning Design Thinking in a Masters Course. Educational Research for Social Change (ERSC) Vol. 2 N.1, April, 82-96.

Irbīte, A. (2014) The importance of the paradigm shift in the development of design industry and design education. Proceeding of the International Scientifical Conference May 23th – 24th. Volume II, 411-422.

Karlsone, I. (2015) Pedagogical principles to develop design students’ spatial abilities in the study process. Proceedings of INTCESSIS-2nd International conference on Education and Social Sciences, 717-722.

Kolko, J. (2015). Design thinking comes of age. Harvard Business Review, September 93(9), 66–71.

Lawson, B. (1990). How Designers Think. Great Britain The University Press, Cambridge.

Owen, C. (2007). Design Thinking: Notes on Its Nature and Use. Design Research Quarterly Vol. 2, N.1, January, 16-27.

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It Important? Review of Educational Research, 82(3), 330–348.

Research on Design Thinking. Retrieved from

Rowe, P.G. (1987). Design thinking. USA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stages in the Design Thinking Process. Retrieved from

Solovjova, J. (2017). Dizaina domāšanas fenomens. Retrieved from

Solovjova, J. (2018). Dizaina nozīme mūsdienās. Retrieved from

Svešvārdu vārdnīca (1999). Rīga: Jumava.

Thinking Outside the Box: A Misguided Idea. Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.