Open Class Report “What is Design Thinking?” held on January 18th, 2024.
News letter


On January 18th, Shizenkan University had an online open class on the topic of Design Thinking presented by Adjunct Professor, Hironori Iwasaki.


As humans face complex and unprecedented problems such as COVID-19, design thinking has been introduced as a key concept and methodology to tackle such issues. According to associate professor Iwasaki, design thinking is a useful  model to identify and solve problems in creative ways. Cases such as “PillPack” and “VEGI-BUS” are fine examples in which design thinking has utilized UX into economic values.



Design Thinking is not meant to negate logical thinking or other traditional business school approaches, but to “complement” them, transcending the limits of what can be reached with logic, data, and  analytical approaches. Adjunct professor Iwasaki explains, “Design Thinking is a methodology that confronts chaos. Until now, chaos has been eliminated as much as possible, but in the age of VUCA, conventional thinking and approaches are no longer applicable. Teams are required to co-create, first try to give shape to ideas, and practice creative collaboration by spiraling up while moving back and forth. He also described the characteristics of a team that produces good output, “Ideally, the team members should be able to demonstrate their strengths, and their individual talents should be amplified. Employees in Japanese companies tend to divide roles and subdivide tasks to make them more efficient, but this does not lead to synergy.”


Yusuke Torii (2023 Shizenkan graduate), participated in the second half of the open class. When asked about what he learned in the Design Thinking class, he replied, “I realized the usefulness of thinking thoroughly as the customer or user, and of creating while doing. I am now practicing this onsite as well, first by giving it shape, and then by interviewing users and brushing it up.” As for his future aspirations, he shared, “I want everyone to enjoy working at our company. We have established a digital human resources development organization called the “Digital Academy” within our company, and I want to get this off the ground and create an environment that allows employees to focus 100% on the work they want to focus on. I would also like to contribute to the elimination of non-core work from the world, not only in my own organization, but also by expanding the circle to other organizations.”



Through the Project-Based Learning course sponsored by Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. at Shizenkan University, you will learn the ability to design new services using design thinking methodology, build a mindset to continuously build and rebuild ideas and concepts, and develop a style of leadership that fosters creative collaboration. We look forward to your participation in future open classes.

For further information, please check our upcoming open class schedule here.



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