Learnings from Tim Brown of IDEO, applied to my journey with The Orange Hive community

by aishyza

Sharing my thoughts on my journey with The Orange Hive since it’s birth last October – 11/11. So I’d say we’re reaching our 1/2 year anniversary soon – SH*T that’s fast!

Ideas are cheap. What’s more challenging is coming up with an innovative idea AND realizing it. Because we know that an idea ain’t gonna get you any eyeballs, let alone the dough, unless they’re innovative, ground-breaking… and maybe mind-blowing.

So how? … innovation… cheem.

In The Orange Hive community we try (I say try) to encourage (and facilitate) innovation through pragmatic design and design thinking.

Tim Brown recently gave a talk in the building next to my office and I picked up some really neat insights – “Innovation can be taught… but needs to be mastered.” You can’t expect to teach a 10 year old how to play piano then expect him to play like bethoven the next day.

need to practice lah… That’s precisely why we do monthly (almost free) workshops.

Tim mentions how he observed in valley, the crashing together of different disciplines. We know how challenging it is to bring an innovation from idea to market. And we believe design-thinking can help facilitate that – because it is a human-centred methodology that allows us to bridge seemingly diverse disciplines.

Consider design-thinking as a toolset, useful for a specific case. Think of it as a non-linear and chaotic process. Simply because the human environment is not controlled with all human behaviour being non-linear.

Realizing an innovativion is not an easy task and requires hardcore skills. Conceptualizing… Visualizing ideas… Making them tangible… Coordination… Storytelling… Prototyping… That’s why design has to be a collaborative activity! That’s why you need an interdisciplinary team! You need people who are masters of either of these craft/skill to speak the same language of empathy.

The human is not rational so there can never be a universal design. The design of the product is derived from the behaviour of a specific persona for a specific case. The more we move away from functional things, the more culture is inherent in the innovation. All of us drink milk the same way (I think) but would use emoticons in media differently. This makes culture diversity more important in the design team.

If The Orange Hive were to have 10 commandments, the first one will be — all activities interactive. You want to get into the experiential mode of teaching. You MUST get your hands dirty. *evil laughter*

Tim mentioned that design-thinking is an expensive form of education that is necessary. #truestory It’s a lot of work and a hell lot of thinking when it comes to coming up with a ‘lesson plan’ for a design & innovation workshop. My buddies and I usually get stuck on questions like – how do we make it interactive yet focused on learning outcomes? how do we encourage feedback & iteration? How can we do so much in such a short time!?

Every workshop is a unique challenge for us and as educators, we also learn from the crafting process. Since the workshops are made interactive, the best part is that we get to figure things out with smart participants at our workshops. We get to explore the space of pragmatic design, together.

I agree with Tim that there is a decline in creative confidence in high schools partly because of the overemphasis on ‘teaching methods’… Thing is, creative people ask unexpected questions. An education system that teaches you to know the right answer stifles you to give a creative answer. We’ve gotta teach people how to think, not give answers.

 PS: Italic words are my dire need to express in Singlish

We encourage you to participate in The Orange Hive Facebook group. Join us in our monthly workshops!

Got a question? Drop me a line at aishyza@gmail.com