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Design Thinking For Modern-Day Problem Solving

Many industry experts believe this is where the last ten years has changed the landscape, especially because of the technology used.

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Given the need to have better design solutions so as to build systems and processes that are sustainable and effective, the way we think about design has to change. Speaking at the recent Future of Design event, Somshubhro Pal Choudhury, partner at the Bharat Innovation Fund, addressed the need to shift design thinking towards sustainable thinking. The third edition of the Future of Design conference and award was organised by BW Businessworld on the 10th of April, 2021. 

Choudhury, an investor who has spent sufficient time in the Silicon Valley and has come across many design folks throughout his career, stated that design thinking is more about sustainable solutions and how the reverse is also true that sustainable thinking also needs to be adopted in design thinking. “As we all know that historically, it was about the perspective of design thinking that majorly started with the architecture sector, and what we see today as design thinking is the innovation that has happened over the years in the industry,” Choudhury stated. He added, “However, in the last ten years, it has moved more into the mainstream, be it a product or any kind of experience in the design business. “

Choudhury shared various lessons involving design he learnt in his career. “If you ask me about the design principles I used in my work in the last decade, I think it was more about packaging sort of old wine in a new bottle. Today, however, it has become fast-moving and innovative thinking.” He added, “Today a lot of our thinking goes into the challenge, brainstorming and thinking out of the box, that is what I personally believe that design thinking has brought to the table.” 

Arguably, the things which we see today are to empathise with your customer, be in the shoes of your customer - thinking from the perspective of the customer. “I think the brainstorming and innovation is the most value-added in regards to design thinking today, the new ways in which the user’s needs are being addressed is where the most innovation has happened,” Choudhury said. He added, “What we did was a few solutions with new ideas but racking up with multiple approaches, elimination and improvement is the new prototype.” 

Tech Influence

Many industry experts believe this is where the last ten years has changed the landscape, especially because of the technology used. Choudhury agrees, “Today, we get an almost realistic product from my 3D printer. Today with all the design software, you can do a rapid prototype, change iteration and get things done in the fly then and there.” “That is happening mostly because of the design technology that is available today, and being an investor in the technology field, I get to witness this,” Choudhury said.

Choudhury explained further, “For instance, we have invested in a company which uses AI to detect the brainwaves and facial expression in order to find out whether a customer is liking a promo of a product launch, or the colour scheme or style of the product, etc.” 

So, what then is a design is all about? Choudhury stated, “Now if you look, design is mainly three elements: the customer, the technology and the business. Now essentially what you are trying to design is an experience for your customer, with your product.”