CMR University, a leading university in Bengaluru, today hosted the first edition of Design Thinking Day, taking a multidisciplinary approach to design thinking. CMR University seamlessly believes that having a problem-solving mindset is key as we deal with the world we’re living in today. Students across all streams from Law to Engineering to Psychology have explored dealing with Wicked problems.
CMR University, through its Common Core Curriculum (CCC), has made Design Thinking a mandatory course for both its UG and PG programs with effect from the academic year 2021-22.
As a part of this students learned about the ground realities and explored the many facets of the wicked problems they are dealing with in these topics. They went through the different phases of the Design Thinking process (Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test). They even went to the landfill to see where Bangalore’s waste goes finally.
In addition to landfills and viable options for waste management, various other projects were showcased at the inaugural event of Design Thinking Day to look into food waste, plastic waste, waste segregation, bio-medical waste, e-waste, travel and tourism, textiles and many more with an objective to bring in behavioural change. This year’s theme was ‘What Design Thinking Can Do?’ A few of the other recommendations by students include apps to reduce screen time on phones, a platform to connect charging infrastructure, methods of efficiency in food packaging, creation of an Aqua tunnel for lake conservation.
The year-long process witnessed participation from students across various streams within the university, including Engineering and Technology, Social Sciences, Management, Legal Studies, Economics and Commerce. Around 50 students presented unprecedented and creative ideas that can be easily implemented contributing to the betterment of the environment and community at large.
The aim of launching Design Thinking at CMR University is in line with the university’s vision ‘To nurture creative thinkers who will drive positive global change’.
The Chief Guest for the event, Ms Sonia Manchanda – a Designpreneur and the Founding Partner of Spread Design and Innovation Pvt Ltd, spoke on the importance of thinking sustainable in a world of numerous design possibilities. Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sonia Manchanda said, “Design is a critical strategy and path to respond to shifts, transforming business models, life, sustainably. With a human centered approach, and a sensitive approach towards all stakeholders. Without compromising national, environmental interests. It is very encouraging to see design integrated with various Schools at CMR University that will create many more design students and practitioners, creating new possibilities and expanding the potential for designing a better India and World.”
Guinness World Record holder Kalyan S Rathore mentored the participating teams over two days and worked with them in creating an Atrium Sculpture that was installed on the occasion by suspending it from the ceiling. Christened as ‘The Hamsa’, a 3D of the CMRU logo, the parametric design inspired by the CMRU logo rendered visually light by 416 individual ‘floating’ elements was created out of recycled aluminium. The event also witnessed a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Solving Wicked Problems in the 21st Century’ with Mr. Jacob Cherian Director, TerreGeneration Solutions, Ms. Srilakshmi, Founder,
One important focus area of Design Thinking is ‘Empathy’. “In an information-packed, technologically driven society, Design Thinking skills build confident, creative young leaders that are capable of achieving success in a climate of change. Designers empathize with the scenario and the user, think divergently, work in teams with multiple perspectives, learn to access and make sense of information, apply critical thinking and intuition, communicate and present ideas, iteratively learn from failure and create carefully articulated, human-centred solutions to any problem. The process of building empathy helps designers set preconceived notions and prejudices aside in order to understand the stakeholder’s true needs as opposed to their superficial ones. This allows the designer to tackle the problem, develop complex and multifaceted relationships with their user(s), and predict what they need in an informed manner.” said Tristha Ramamurthy, Provost of CMR University. “We introduced Design Thinking as part of our Common Core Curriculum in order to empower and prepare students for the demands and challenges of the future”, she added.
Students had turned innovators at the CMR campus, which echoed with vibrant energy, zeal and enthusiasm not only from the students and staff members, but also from the dignitaries present as well as invited guests and visitors alike. With the launch of Design Thinking Day at CMR University, which will be observed as a bi-annual event, we hope to see budding professionals from different disciplines who will bring innovative solutions to future problems in their respective fields creating a world that will be improved based on design thinking concepts.