By: Sanya Uppal

Compared to the understand phase, I have found the create stage to be more natural and instinctive. Yet, to develop and frame a concept that solves the needs we identified demands an exploration of ideas and creative thinking that is almost as challenging as determining our problem space. This week has pushed my team to brainstorm and find the values that we celebrate. Having a shared purpose has informed our ideation process and cemented our desire to succeed and fully realize the opportunities we have in this program.

During the create stage, my initial inclination was to reject ideas that seemed to diverge from our purpose or “how might we” statement. However, as I received more feedback, I began to adopt the “yes, and” mindset and realized the importance of allowing ideas to flow in a space without any constraint. It was highly encouraging and inspiring when some of our “outlandish” ideas became the center of our concept. The “yes, and” ethos also emphasizes the open-minded and collaborative feature of the design thinking process.

The most challenging aspect has been to consolidate and synthesize the multitude of ideas and different perspectives of each and every member of my team. It has made it difficult to form a comprehensible concept and prototype without spiraling into several different directions. However, this has also presented the greatest opportunity for growth and learning. Finding the relationship between different ideas and understanding their connection to our purpose has been extremely rewarding.