Design Your Mind
AUBG students had a chance to find out what design thinking is from the co-founders of the first design thinking consultancy in Sofia –designthinking.bg – on Nov. 19. Elina Zheleva, engineer and professional design thinker, and Georgi Kamov, design thinker ” by heart,” were brought together by their interest in creating something new.
The co-founders are currently working on their new project “Bagra”- an organization, which will be turning knowledge, products, services and events into memorable experiences by changing people and their environment for a better quality of life. The focus of the lecture, however, was not on their new project, but rather on the process of design thinking. The term is completely new to most of us, even though it originated in the 1960s. In general, we can define it as a creative process of solving a problem and coming up with a meaningful solution.
As an opening comment, Zheleva shared some wisdom with the students, “The best training, whatever you study, it doesn’t matter whether you study design thinking, finance, marketing, is on the field, not in the school.” The lecture was organized as a workshop, letting students not only understand the concept of design thinking, but experience it themselves. Zheleva carefully instructed and lead students through the process step by step as their task was to find out how to improve the healthy eating on campus.
The speakers defined clearly the main points of design thinking: customer research, problem defining, idea generation, prototyping and testing, steps which students had to follow as they looked for a solution to the problem. Among the ideas suggested by the students were re-equipment of the kitchens, adding new cooking areas and selling organic snacks.
AUBG fourth-year student Ekaterina Marinova shared her thoughts on the concept of design thinking, “I believe that the discussion was very dynamic, intense and fruitful. I think that design thinking technique showed us that in very short time, we can collect information, dig deeper, and find a solution. In my opinion this will be really useful no matter what we do, we will always have the deadline.”
Zheleva pointed out that design thinking mainly focuses on consumers and that it is something worth remembering when starting a business. At the end of the lecture, Kamov showed students some successful examples of design thinking products, such as New Baby Carrots and Roof Top Campus.
Photo credits: AUBG Daily’s owl Anna Bashuk.