Academic article alert: Design thinking traits

Design thinking has reached a broader audience in recent years as practitioner/educators like Tim Brown and companies like IDEO show the value of design thinking in all types of fields.

While earning her Ph.D. at Clemson, Jackie Blizzard studied design thinking, and her results were just released in the Design Studies article: “Using survey questions to identify and learn more about those who exhibit design thinking traits.” 1

With the help of the co-authors, Dr. Blizzard used the questions and results from a national survey to learn more about design thinking traits (some of which are shown in the table below). Dr. Blizzard also took it one step further and found that design thinking traits correlated with higher achievement; with a desire for careers helping others and solving societal problems; and with recognition of and desire to address sustainability obligations.

In other words, design thinkers are smart, hard-working, and want to save the world! This means we should be nurturing the design thinkers we already have – and figuring out ways to create more.

Fortunately for us all, Dr. Blizzard is now working with the next generation of design thinkers and shaping high-school curricula to help produce even more of them.

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  1. Design Studies is providing free access to the paper until May 6 []

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