The Idea Lab

San Diego State University’s ZIP Idea Lab hosted a workshop for JMS 527 last week. The lab is “a campus-wide hub for collaboration across disciplines, the exploration of new ideas and the launch of new ventures,” as its website states. The platform provides resources to students, faculty, and staff to bring their ideas to life through workshops, projects, and special events. We were lucky enough to engage in a ZIP Idea Lab workshop led by team member Francesco Chinaglia.

Empathy

We learned about the process of “design thinking,” utilized by entrepreneurs to launch ideas. It is a never-ending cycle of six steps involving empathy, defining, creating ideas, making prototypes, testing, and sharing. I was captured by the first step: empathy. During the workshop, we interviewed a partner about their feelings on an issue — only asking questions beginning with “why.” By asking “why,” I was able to gain empathy for my partner and see the problem beyond my own needs. It means everything to see a problem from another person’s eyes. Progress begins here.

Side note: we also built prototypes of our ideas using Legos and Play-doh.

 

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