The Indian Font

Shruti Barton MA Creative Economy

Design Thinking = Enrichment Holiday.

Tim Brown’s Design Thinking = Enrichment Holiday via Gatwick Airport.

It was perfectly fitting for our last lecture prior to Enrichment Week to comprise of a workshop on how to consider what a smooth airport transit might entail, as an illustration of design thinking.  As the man himself, IDEO CEO Tim Brown, states in his book Change By Design, it’s all about “knowledge creation and service delivery”.

Brown also takes a “a human-centred rather than technology-centred worldview” and references artists “Andy Goldsworthy and Antony Gormley, who seemed to engage their viewers in an experience that made them part of the artwork”. These ideas related to design thinking enabled me to more greatly appreciate the journey from Gatwick South Terminal to my holiday destination for the week: The Londa design boutique hotel.

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First things first, I was lucky enough to use the No.1 Traveller Lounge in South Terminal, where the likes of a gold-encrusted table football, champagne breakfast and fine views over the runway eased the tension before take off.

On arrival at the design boutique destination (this all sounds fancy I know – I can assure you that it was all very bargain basement, I  pondered the details that made it so: the folded V of the toilet paper, the friendly concierge immaculately dressed in head to toe crisp white linens , the candles flickering throughout (albeit made of plastic with an on/off switch), the succulent fruits, the scented flowers and mature gardens, the mediterranean soundtrack playing in the background,  freshly laundered towels in accented tangerine shades, branded guest slippers, free smoothie shots during sun bathing hours, a pristine private beach, home made biscuits at dusk, a maid to turn the beds down at night, the list was endless…(as are my holiday pics).

All this I figure, IS design thinking.”design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognise patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as functionality, to express ourselves in media other than words or symbols.”

Some may question why we are studying Tim Brown’s IDEOlogy in such great depth. Evidently design thinking is what this ever changing world is all about.

On a slightly separate note, consider the term Enrichment Week itself – could it be a newly coined term adapted from the notion of design thinking itself in order to promote knowledge creation? For, in contrast, I have a fuzzy recollection of a certain Reading Week during my BA in 2001. Is it now the case that, post-internet era, Generation Y students prefer to enrich their lives through a variety of media rather than through pure reading alone? Or is reading somehow a politically incorrect activity these days? I remain baffled by this unexplained change in title (there’s even a Wikipedia entry for Reading Week; the closest I have got to unravelling the origins of the term Enrichment Week is related to the Baptist International Missions Inc. and surely the link to religion is broadly more contentious than any reference to  reading?). Please provide comments if you can shed any further light on this subject.


One comment on “Design Thinking = Enrichment Holiday.

  1. Janet Barthet
    November 30, 2012

    and there I was feeling guilty for not having such a productive reading week! Whilst you were getting tanned on a private beach? Bless you for being proactive and not even trying to be academically productive, but instead de-stressing to instead be productive on your return.

    I think enrichment week, reading week, or whatever the correct phrase may be, is really and truly can best be described as to each his own. If a non stop stream of films courtesy of netflix leads me to the land of no stress, to clear my thoughts and then work harder, and better following the mid-term break, then so be it. If other students prefer to destress by easing off some backlog, then that is what enrichment means to them. Either way, I think the week is a great way to allow us to remember what its like to not be drowned in assignment deadlines and other mind boggling thoughts, in a way that suits our individual characters best.

    So where did you go to sit back and relax? The hotel and the beach look amazing!

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