Skip to main content


February 19 2022, 5:15 am – 10:15 am EDT

This session features an input lecture on design thinking and an activity (‘Design a surprise’, that allows students to work through the design thinking process). We will discuss the nature and attributes of wicked problems with our guest speaker, and also get first hand insights on how to apply design thinking to social justice issues.

Handouts, Slides, Recordings

Session 1: Recordings

Introduction & Exercise Guest Speaker Christian Kohls Guest Speaker Danielle Lake  

Session 1: Summary, Slides, Handouts

In the first session we started out by understanding the field of design thinking as both a set of facilitation methods and a mindset geared to address wicked problems. To deepen our understnading we did an exercise in which you … Read more

Guest Speakers

Christian Kohls 8:15am EDT

Christian Kohls is an expert on patterns, e-learning, creativity, software design and software engineering. He is a professor of computational science at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

Danielle Lake, 9:15 am

Danielle Lake is the Director of Design Thinking and Associate Professor at Elon University. Her scholarship explores the connections and tensions between wicked problems and the movement towards public engagement within higher education. Her current projects focus on exploring the long-term impact of collaborative, place- and project-based learning, design thinking practices, and pedagogies of resilience. Lake is coeditor of the book series, Higher Education and Civic Democratic Engagement: Exploring Impact, with Peter Lang Publishing. Recent publications can be found at


Panke, S. (2019). Design Thinking in Education: Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges. Open Education Studies, 1(1), 281-306.

Dam, R., & Siang, T. (2017). What is ideation—and how to prepare for ideation sessions. Interaction Design Foundation.

Lake, D. (2014). Working with: Expanding and integrating the pragmatic method for a wicked world. [Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University]. 14-57.

Giacomin, J. (2014). What is human centred design? The Design Journal, 17(4), 606–623.

Utley, J. & Kembel, G. (2016). Stanford design thinking virtual crash course [Video]. Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

Lake, D., Flannery, K. & Kearns, M. A. (2021). Cross-disciplines and cross-sector mixed-methods examination of design thinking practices and outcome. Innovative Higher Education.

Student Summaries

  • What is design thinking? Summarize the input lecture.
  • Document and discuss the activity ‘design a surprise’.
  • What are wicked problems? Document and discuss the guest lecture.