Design Thinking and Generative Research
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Disainimõtlemine ja generatiivsed uuringud
Course title in English
Design Thinking and Generative Research
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The goal of the course is to help students gain a deeper understanding of the problems they would like to design solutions for. Students will be provided with the tools necessary for looking critically at the world and identifying opportunities for solutions and innovation. By exploring, recording, and understanding people’s actions, thoughts, and feelings students will reach solidly framed problem statements that can be used as input for prototyping.
Brief description of the course
This course comprises of 3 main parts:
- The background - learning about the underlying principles of generative research;
- The methods - learning how to use relevant generative research tools and techniques;
- The procedure - learning how to plan, gather, document, analyse, and communicate the collected data.
Independent work
All course participants are expected to:
- Individually read through the course materials;
- Contribute to the group project.
Learning outcomes in the course
Having successfully completed the course students will:
- Gain conceptual understanding of a variety of generative research methods;
- Carry out experimental fieldwork, e.g. conducting ethnography, deploying probes;
- Understand how to thoroughly formulate a problem statement for a possible design solution.
Assessment methods
The final grade will consist of the following:
- Composing and carrying out the research plan (50%);
- Reporting on the problem statement (30%);
- Presenting the generative research procedure and outcomes (20%).

Students will work in teams of up to 4 people. Group projects will be assessed according to their level of detail:
0 - 50%: Shallow work, only basic concepts explored, accompanying descriptions are not clear.
50% - 60%: Work is not very detailed, accompanying descriptions are somewhat understandable.
60% - 80%: Work is somewhat detailed, accompanying descriptions are concise and could be further elaborated.
80% - 90%: Work is quite detailed, accompanying descriptions are clear and elaborate.
90% - 100%: Work is very detailed and rigorous, accompanying descriptions are clear and thorough.

The final grades will be assigned according to the following scale:
A - 90-100% of the work is done - excellent: outstanding work with only few minor errors.
B - 80-90% of the work is done - very good: above average work but with some minor errors.
C - 70-80% of the work is done - good: generally good work with a number of notable errors.
D - 60-70% of the work is done - satisfactory: reasonable work but with significant shortcomings.
E - 50-60% of the work is done - sufficient: passable performance meeting the minimum criteria.
F- less than 50% of the work is done - fail: more work is required before the credit can be awarded.
David Jose Ribeiro Lamas
Study literature
There is no required literature in the sense of a physical book. A list of reading materials will be assigned by the teachers and provided online.
Replacement literature
The course cannot be passed on replacement literature alone.