How do you create meaningful experiences of design culture for people who have never experienced design before? for seasoned design practitioners? for people who fall in-between those extremes?

What experiences shine through as most powerful, when you apply constraints of limited time and support? 

These are the BIG questions facing us right now as we build the design curriculum for the FastFWD program

 A six-hour design challenge workspace

A six-hour design challenge workspace

Constraints and areas of tension can provide opportunities for creativity and inventiveness (an aspect of design culture)–and we are certainly feeling those tensions! We are designing around six, two hour experiences for the group of 10 start-up teams. The entrepreneurs span from: never been exposed to design, to being designers themselves. We understand that the design-based activities will provide a spectrum of value and outcomes for the different teams. However, one thing we have identified as an overarching goal is help them "feel" the mindset enough that they are either able to: apply it to their own work, or to make an informed decision that it doesn't fit into their "way of doing things." For those who want to apply it to their business, we hope they are driven to learn more about the topic, or a little more extreme–to bring a designer onto their founding team. 

Obviously, design thinking is very much a part of our own process designing this curriculum, and we are building in the flexibility to rapidly prototype, test, reflect, and iterate as we go. There are still uncertainties to navigate (another aspect of design culture) but we are excited to tackle this challenge and begin finding answers to those big questions!

One more thing: one of the first resources we will be including in the design library for civic entrepreneurs is Design Observer's Design and the Social Sector Annotated Bibliography–it is a great place to get started!