This thesis is a collaborative project with Urvi Raghbeer that aims to answer the question: “Can design thinking solve everyday problems?” One hundred people were interviewed with a simple question: “What is one problem you face in your everyday life?” Ten problems were chosen based on the frequency or our interest and this became the prompt to design ten simple solutions; we designed four each individually and two collaboratively. A solution was completed each week using design thinking—an approach that matches user’s needs with what is technologically practical and can create demand. This resulted in a design studio, Ratio, where we use a unique crowdsourcing method to receive work.
The design thinking methods we used every week were combined with a “sprint” attitude, allowing us to quickly ideate, innovate and build and our way to success. Working collaboratively challenged me to tackle every problem in a unique way and it increased the chance of associations between ideas, resulting in innovative end products. This thesis began with an understanding of the needs and motivations of people, and it built on the power of empathy. In the past twelve weeks, we relied on the fundamental belief that everyone can create change—no matter how big a problem, how little time or how small a budget. We developed the ability to take an abstract idea and create something concrete with it.