What Is Design Thinking?

Understanding the basics of Design Thinking

Design Thinking, Human Centered Design, and Circular Systems Thinking

There are countless design thinking processes being used by design firms all around the world. At a granular level each process comes with its merits, differences, and similarities. Nevertheless, each model begins with empathizing or inspiration, followed by an ideation phase, and lastly implementation. 
Human centered design is at the core of IDEO, and furthered through IDEO’s non-profit organization, which encourages social innovation in developing nations through 3 stages: Hearing, Creating, and Delivering.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010 to promote a redesign of our global “take, make, and dispose” linear model. By focusing on a circular economy where the key is in restorative and regenerative design processes, low environmental impact and long-term sustainability can be realized. In 2016, IDEO x Ellen Macarthur Foundation formally announced their partnership. 
With trusted methods and shared objectives we are able to leverage design thinking and implement circular economic solutions as well.


Understanding, Observation, User perspectives lead to deep understanding for the issues at hand.


Inspiration leads to possibilities, prototypes, and testing. Through this iterative process stories begin to emerge.


Testing leads to stories and word of mouth. Further implementation may result in unexpected business models.


Identifying current issues, understanding future trends, and taking action means everyone has the chance to participate.

Squiggle by Damien Newman from Central Office Design

Squiggle by Damien Newman from Central Office Design

Credit & Inspiration

Our inception would not have been possible without inspiration and influence from two very unique companies.


The principles and values at IDEO resonate beyond organizational and cultural boundaries and exemplify how everyone wins when we come together to achieve outcomes. Pioneers of interaction, human-centered design, and famous for designing Apple’s first mouse, IDEO’s methodology was far ahead of its time.

Learn more about IDEO at www.ideo.com

Gore Industries

Few are as familiar with Gore Industries, as they are with their Gore-Tex fabric. True innovators in manufacturing of advanced materials, they are also known for their diversity of thought and “Associates”. These employees form what Gore describes a Flat Lattice Organization. Formed in 1958, Gore Industries, like IDEO, was decades ahead of its time.

Learn more about Gore Industries at www.gore.com

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Albert Einstein
Now you know the fundamentals of Design Thinking. Read about the Maker Movement:

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