At first glance, it looks as though the group of young adults is building Lego.
But these are actually students at the University of Cape Town’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking, and they’re using the colourful blocks to design a prototype.
It represents policy reform ideas around transitioning from informal to formal economies. It’s a complex system represented with very basic materials.
This is design thinking in action: human-centred, problem solving activities that ground design thinking in practice.
It helps students to understand and innovatively solve challenges.
Design thinking can be used very successfully as an academic programme that goes beyond traditional university practices. It allows universities to prepare a more resilient, adaptive student cohort. These graduates are more competent to enter economies that are constantly changing. This is particularly important when higher education institutions are training students for jobs that might not yet exist or that might have changed or become redundant by the time they graduate.We’re living in a time of rapid transformation in terms of what’s required for a country’s workforce.