The design thinking approach

One central foundation for approaches embraced across the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office and the Paul M. Lisnek LAS Hub is design thinking an innovative, hands-on process for tackling life’s transitions and discovering new possibilities. This approach draws heavily from Designing Your Life and Career, a book by professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans from Stanford University.

We encourage you to start where you are – you are never to early or too late on your academic, career, or personal well-being journey. Wherever you are is the best place to begin. We’re here to help with strategies, tools, and supports to help you move forward, or simply to get “unstuck” and discover new alternatives when the future feels uncertain. Together, we’ll help you design potential paths forward and to take your next steps to get involved and make your future a reality.

We also encourage the development of design-thinking mindsets like curiosity, trying stuff, reframing problems, asking for help, and simply recognizing that life and career are a process. These mindsets can help you build a meaningful academic, career, and personal journey – even in the face of scary unknowns.

5 Mindsets of Design Thinking

  1. Be curious. Ask questions and inquire about all around you. Those questions will lead you to see opportunities.
  2. Try stuff. You can’t think your way forward; you have to build it. So, cultivate a bias to action. Remember this rule: 80% action, 20% thought.
  3. Reframe problems. A reframe is a perspective switch that helps you articulate the right problems so you can find the right solutions. Negative thoughts holding you back? Stop and ask, “is this helpful? Is it accurate?” If not, reframe those beliefs and problems to see them in a different light. The Student Success Center team can help you.
  4. Know it’s a process. Life is a journey of ups and downs. Obstacles are natural. Some ideas will work out and many will fail. Focus on the process, learn from it, and grow through it.
  5. Ask for help. You are not alone. Involve people, communities, and mentors in your process and ask for help when you need it. Radically collaborate. Incorporating many, diverse perspectives makes ideas better.

Learn more

Take a class
Attend a workshop
Meet with a Peer Mentor

Get involved

Are you a student? Do you like what you see in our approach? Check out the student internship, teaching assistant, and peer mentoring roles available within our office.