Design Thinking Workshop


On Tuesday, October 24th, 28 participants consisting of faculty, librarians, and Greenhouse Studios collaborators engaged in a Design Thinking Workshop at Greenhouse Studios. Led by Tom Scheinfeldt, Clarissa Ceglio, and Sara Sikes, the workshop explored the “understand” phase of the Greenhouse Studios design process model.  

The workshop prompt was called “Boundary Conditions” and it challenged participants to think about boundary conditions at UConn and to come up with ideas for ways of intervening in them. Attendees were divided into five groups in which they worked for the duration of the workshop. Each group consisted of a faculty member, librarians, and a Greenhouse Studio collaborator.  To begin with, teams engaged in an exercise to identify the resources and constraints present in their group. They then listed the skills of their individual members and took note of personal and professional strengths and weaknesses within their team. This process allowed the teams to understand their capabilities.

Next, teams discussed boundary conditions. Working individually, participants identified boundary conditions that they were familiar with, and selected one to visualize through a drawing. The teams then regrouped to discuss each of their drawings with one another. Following the discussion,  the teams selected one boundary condition that held most significance to them collectively that they would then address. Some of the conditions addressed included communication challenges and a generational gap within working environments.

Teams then discussed the ways their knowledge and talents could intervene in the chosen boundary condition, drawing from the list they had earlier created. In doing so they were able to connect the team’s resources with the intervention they were seeking to implement. Finally, the teams identified the specific audience of the boundary condition and  intervention in order to ensure proper application of the mediation.

At the end of the workshop, participants were able to articulate their team’s intervention to a boundary condition using the skills drawn from within their group. This workshop was a useful introduction to the work done by Greenhouse Studios and it provided participants with a practical immersion into the “understand” phase of the design process.  


Sylvia Mosiany, Graduate Assistant

Greenhouse Studios Staff