Week 2 Tutorial – “Design Thinking”

In Week 2 tutorials, we discussed “design thinking” and how this process can be used or identified in other activities seen to be unrelated to “design”.

Some of my friends build dirt jump courses for bmx riders. The process can be seen as “design thinking” because they start with a blank canvas (the ground) and  have an end goal in mind, much like say, a graphic design job.


They have certain constraints that they need to work with, such as budget (they can’t always afford to hire a bobcat). They need to work with the existing dirt, which may not always an ideal texture which can affect the strength and sturdiness of the jumps. This can be related to any design job that involves pre-existing material, or if we are talking graphic design, where there is pre-existing branding that may not be working well for the project, or when the ideal paper stock is unavailable and you’re forced to make other design decisions to compensate.


This type of constraint forces them to think of ways around problems which is all part of the design thinking process. And of course they need to carefully design the course so that there is enough momentum to make it through the course start to finish, they need to be thinking about the distance between jumps, the height and steepness. Much like a traditional design job, they accomplish the best solutions through some trial and error, and user testing.