Catapult Design’s core mission is to make design methodology accessible to all. We believe systems-level thinking and a focus on the needs and wants of a community can help shape new approaches and new ideas to old problems. By flexing your empathy muscles, interacting with end-users, digging for insights, and adopting a culture of prototyping and iteration, we can build better solutions with greater potential for social impact.
Catapult designers developed a series of Learning Labs, our custom hands-on design workshops, specifically for entrepreneurs, small teams, and conference goers. Each lab is run by our team and includes discussion, coaching, and hands-on activities. Labs accommodate up to 30 people and most run at 120 minutes each. We will build custom sessions on request. All proceeds from Learning Labs go towards funding our design work with entrepreneurs and organizations worldwide. Scroll down for topics and pricing.
Intro to Design Process
The importance and value of good design is widely recognized, but often not well understood. What exactly is “design thinking”? What makes it important? From needs assessment to product implementation, we use examples from Catapult’s work coupled with exercises to give participants insight into what it means to think like a designer.
Values are the ideals, norms, and moral perceptions that dictate the boundaries of individual and group behavior. Understanding values gives us insight into why people behave as they do which informs new directions for products and services. You’ll leave with a set of techniques for uncovering information about what people hold most dear.
Brainstorming is a generative process that builds on the collective thinking of a group to quickly create a large volume of ideas. It’s a great tool for breaking out of established patterns of thinking to develop new ways of looking at problems. In this lab you will learn the techniques of effective brainstorming, common pit falls, and tips on facilitation.
Synthesis Tools: from research to insight
How do you turn your research, user interviews and observations into concrete design direction? We’ll start this session with an overview design synthesis before introducing three trusty methods for making sense of user and contextual research. Using one of Catapult’s projects, you will try your hand at turning information into insight into strategy.
Forget sketching or fancy renderings. Prototyping is the magic of the design process. Go straight into ‘maker mode’ in this hands-on lab where you will learn the value physically building and testing multiple ideas. After exploring everything from origami to theatre games, participants will leave inspired to hit the workshop. (Additional materials fee applies.)
Participatory by Design
Build “with” instead of “for” your users or potential customers by engaging them in the design process. But how do you facilitate that process with your users? We’ll highlight case studies in participatory and co-design that led to new design directions and run through ways to involve your users through the development process.
Running a Field Test
Testing your concepts in the field with customers brings to light new opportunities (and challenges) associated with your ideas. Done well, it reduces risk by preventing mistakes at scale and collects data to back your theories. This lab leads you through a step-by-step process for creating a strategy to test your product or service in the field.
Implementing Small-Scale Renewable Energy
Day One of this two-day program explores system mapping, behavioral economics, and common renewable energy generation technologies. Day Two dives into community-based financing (e.g. micro-finance) and innovative business models before culminating in an intensive integrated business model activity that ties it all together.