What we're about
Portland Community Design Thinkers is a group for enthusiasts of design thinking (https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-design-thinking-and-why-is-it-so-popular) (aka human-centered design) and and its myriad applications for creative and strategic problem-solving across industries of all kinds. Some of our members are, of course, "Designers" who use human-centered methods and mindsets every day, but many more are simply interested in this framework and its power for making things better -- anything, really, whether services, experiences, products, environments & spaces, even business models. Our aim is to welcome, and to program events for, the widest possible range of interest in design thinking and those who seek to practice it, whether Stanford d.school grads or newbies.
Design Thinking (also known as human-centered design) is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods. One of our favorite explanations of design thinking is one from the Interaction Design Association: "What is Design Thinking and Why is it so Popular? (https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-design-thinking-and-why-is-it-so-popular)"
Popularised by the U.S. consulting firm IDEO and the Hasso-Plattner-Institute of Design at Stanford University in California, design thinking is quickly becoming a foundational approach for creating better user experiences, products, services, business strategies, and organizational environments of all kinds
• To develop comprehension and deepen competence in the practice of Human-Centered Design as a driver of innovation -- particularly those aspects related to user research, problem framing, creative ideation, and iterative prototyping.
• To nurture and grow a community of practice around design thinking methods, mindsets, and roles through both face-to-face and virtual interactions and platforms.
• To help every person here to have greater creative confidence in order to be more empathetic and to have a better impact on the world.
• To encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning.
• To facilitate a mix of face-to-face and virtual contact as a means of sharing ideas and professional networking.
• To encourage exploration and comfort with ambiguity in order to create breakthrough insights and new and innovative ways of seeing.