Design Thinking Project Generator

Design Thinking Project Generator

CreatEdu Innovation Lab Guide

What is an innovation lab?createdu-design-thinking
An innovation lab is a space designed to foster creativity.

How do I create an innovation lab?
If you are looking to revamp an existing space or create a new space to serve as an innovation lab, there are many creative and inexpensive approaches that you can take.  A key element to all innovation labs is flexibility.  For example:
*Furniture on wheels that can easily be rearranged
*Resources that can serve more than one purpose (i.e. whiteboard walls that can be room dividers and/or used to brainstorm and capture ideas).

Resources to create an innovation lab
*The book “Make Space” by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2012 is a fantastic resource based on the work at the Stanford and its Environments Collaborative Initiative.
*Check out the “Make Space” website for more information about the book and to download 4 spreads from the book with detailed material lists and instructions on how to build resources that you can get started with right away.
*InnovationLabs, created the following list of key elements that are part of a space designed to optimize innovation:

  • A unique environment for creativity and information sharing, creativity, building new knowledge, creating alignment, and developing comprehensive solutions.
  • Furniture on wheels creates a fluid work space that adapts to the needs of the participants.
  • Large, mobile whiteboards facilitate creativity and idea sharing.
  • Illuminated display environment captures the key ideas.
  • Presentation stage facilitates the exchange of complex ideas.
  • Real-time concept modeling feeds new concepts into the design process.
  • Technology to enable and enhance conversations and decision making.

*Maker Media offers a free Makerspace Playbook to help you design your own makerspace and get it up and running.   Maker Media also offers a Makerspace Playbook: School Edition

Innovation Labs in Action
Check out the following programs for innovation lab inspiration:
*FabLearn Labs is a part of the Stanford Graduate School of Education.  This program is creating a network of educational digital fabrication labs for middle school and high school students.  Find out more here.
* Transforming Classrooms and Schools for 21st Century Learners by Designby Bob Pearlman from P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning.  This blog discusses the importance of developing 21st Century skills using Design Thinking and provides videos, project descriptions and links for more information about many schools that have created innovation labs and are actively applying Design Thinking.
*Use the MakerMap to find a makerspace or maker resource near you.



The most valuable part of working with CreatEdu was... "learning about the process and power of Design Thinking AND having the chance to practice it and apply it in our educational environment. Having [CreatEdu] available to work with small groups of teachers on specific projects was an important part of embedding the methodology."
-Middle School Principal

Design Thinking increases achievement and engagement by challenging students with real world complex problems and encouraging them to take risks. CreatEdu founder Coeylen Barry spoke about Design Thinking in schools at TEDx Denver Teachers in 2013. See the talk here.

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