Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jim Adams on Design Thinking

Back on July 27, 2011, Stanford Emeritus Professor Jim Adams gave a talk at TEDx Patagonia Education and Innovation entitled; The Effect of Design Thinking on Social Problems.

For those who haven't heard of him, Jim was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford from 1966 to 1971, Professor of Mechanical Engineering from1966 to 1999, and Professor of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from 1975 to 1999.

His book; Conceptual Blockbusting was part of the core reading in the Product Design Program and is still one of the best collections of ideas on how to free up your creative process and overcome conceptual blocks that I've ever read and is still part of my library.

Aside from being older and shorter than when I knew him, Jim continues to be a bright and insightful mind who is a broad and deep thinker and unafraid to call it like he sees it.  His commentary on how Dave Kelley and the got started, is "warts and all", very insightful, and entertaining. 

What is even more interesting are his closing comments, where he admits that as a result of giving this talk, his mind was changed about whether Design Thinking can have a role in solving social problems. 
Along the way, he gives a summary of the DT process which is refreshingly direct, if somewhat anecdotal.

Spend 18 minutes with one of the bright minds who helped lay the foundations for the and shares some of the blame for hiring Dave Kelley as a professor at Stanford in the first place.  ;-)

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