Time flies and every day is a new day. My dormant senses have become active. I am curious, explorative, and more important living in the present. It’s never a dull day with her.

Children — God’s wonderful and innate creations,  can teach us so much. They are the walking talking Wikipedia. And they can also be the WIKI for design thinking.

For the ease of my readers, I will make this a 2-way process, a dialogue between me and my baby, though in reality, it was her show.

What does Design Thinking mean to a 1-year-old ?

It means exploration, newness, choices and appeal in the real world.

Situation:

The child wants to get down the cot. As Rome was not built in day, this episode happened post her 1st birthday. By then, she had learnt how to climb the cot.

Child: Amma, wassup with this cot? It looks very interesting to go down now but not too sure. It looks very scary.

Me:  No problem, the cot’s your stage now. Try it. You could move around as much as you want with pillows that will serve as icebreakers.

Child: Ok Amma. I will try. Let me EXPLORE the space, each corner and edge, the ease, the distance, the support I have. You will be around right?

Me: Yes, I will be around observing you. Go ahead! If you fall, I shall catch.

Child: Amma, the corner views are so interesting and different.  I see 2 corners near the window. It’s so bright, green and chirpy. I see the printer on the other corner. It always makes this chrrrrr sound and throws out a white thing from its mouth, I hope it’s not the colic pain. And the last corner leads in to our beautiful dressing room, where I see you admiring yourself. I love that amma. I have so many CHOICES, I can choose any corner right?

Me: Wow, you have already explored the NEWNESS in each corner. From which corner do you want to come down?

Child: Amma, I observe that you have placed many pillows around? Can I practice with you on one of the pillows? It will help remove on my fear and ease the tension.

Problem solving

Me: Yes, putta.  Sure you can, lets begin. Now how do you want to come down? You have various options? Do you want to explore that?

Child: Yes amma, I want. First let me come down in a sitting position and slowly glide to the edge, place my feet down…….this one looks scary from the top. I may lose my balance and fall. And the pillows may topple. Dum…dich and we all came down.

Me: Do you want to try tilting slightly and now take support of your hands. Drop your feet till you touch the floor.  This will help you ease the anxiety of heights. You will not jump to fall, but manage the fall.

Child: That sounds good, let me  try. Uhhh…ahhh! Amma help me to tilt and glide down. Yeah this was easy.

Me: See, you did your self. This was so easy  than the previous step. Now do you want to try it?

Child: Yes! Hurrah lets do it! But you will be there right? Ok here I go. A tilt-hand support-glide down with feet-find the ground and stand and CLAAAAPP!! I did it!

Me: A few more trials to help you learn this and then you could try this on the sofa, on the chair everywhere.

Child: This is so exciting amma, I can do this everywhere right. CLLLLLLAAAAPPPPP!!!!

This was my first hand experience in design thinking. Here my child taught me how design thinking can be used as a problem solving process.

I have been pondering hard on this for quite some time. Growing up, I only read or heard bits about it in the engineering, technical and architecture books. It had a very limited appeal and relevance then. Non-technical me was always left wondering. With technology and emphasis on simplifying user experience, Design Thinking is everywhere, in every cell of the being. Thankfully it makes sense to me now.

 

Reference

Featured Image Source: Flickr

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