UCT Post-graduate studies - Page 39



THINKING BY DESIGN
How UCT’s d-school trains postgraduates to solve
complex real-world challenges
The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design
thinking (HPI d-school) at UCT is
one of only three HPI d-schools
in the world. The other two are at
Stanford University in the USA and the
University of Potsdam in Germany.
The d-school’s approach is centred
on the principals of ‘design thinking’:
a creative, human-centred approach
“It opened me up to the
scope for doing things that
have a social impact. Before,
I was focused on good
income, now I am searching
to make a good impact. It
empowered me to think
big about issues that affect
all of us.” – Charl Souma,
honours in digital forensics
“I learnt to think analytically
and critically towards solving
problems in a multidisciplinary
team. And I gained an
empathetic understanding of
human needs, which makes
me better at solving problems.”
– Andrew Bisagaya, master’s
in commercial law
to problem solving that has its roots in
industrial design. Learning to practice
this hands-on process of creating
a culture of innovation is offered
to postgraduate students from all
faculties – and it’s free of charge.
For two days a week, over
a 12-week period, students are
given an opportunity to develop
a design-thinking mindset that is
empathetic, collaborative, innovative
and action-oriented.
Design thinking helps find the
sweet spot that lies at the intersection
between what people desire and want
to use, what is technologically feasible
and what is financially viable.
“Key to this creative confidencebuilding is embracing failure as part
of the learning process,” says d-school
director, Richard Perez. “The idea is to
fail early, learn quickly from mistakes
and move on.”
Postgraduates learn design thinking
on real-world projects provided by
partners from industry, government
and academia. Through this
experience, they get to grips with
how to use these essential skills
for a fast-changing world of work.
www.d-school.uct.ac.za
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37





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