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Design Thinking and Doing

We live in a complex and fast moving world where one of the few things we can be certain of is that things will change, and change quickly. For organizations, be they profit, non-profit, governmental or educational, this means that traditional approaches to problems and opportunities are not enough: doing the same thing, only better, is rarely an option. When the future is uncertain and change occurs rapidly, the problems faced by organizations are difficult to define. Developing and implementing sustainable solutions to such problems requires creativity and innovation.

In recent years one approach to change -- design thinking -- has caught the attention of professionals and academics alike. It is an approach that involves using designers and/or designerly ways of thinking and acting to develop solutions that help organizations to deal with an uncertain future in a sustainable way. 

Rather than just being used to design new products, communications and such-like, organizations are increasingly taking advantage of designerly approaches that help them navigate through, and succeed in, a complex and rapidly changing world. 

The minor Design thinking and doing​ offers you the chance to develop yourself as a design thinker. Following it will allow you to learn to think about, design and implement effective and sustainable solutions to the problems faced by today’s organizations.


By the end of the minor you should:

  • Understand and be able to use a variety of design thinking methods and tools to help find solutions to complex business and social problems.
  • Be in a position to carry out applied research to discover (user) insights.
  • Be able to use research insights to frame / reframe problems, develop solutions and provide arguments for their appropriateness.
  • Work well and effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 
  •  Be capable of making your ideas and designs tangible through sketches, prototypes and other models.
  • Understand a number of important theories of design and designing, and be able to use these to help you make sense of your own practice as a design thinker.
  • Be able to help non-designers work in a design process by facilitating workshops, discussions and co-creation sessions.
  • Have developed into a reflective practitioner that is able to reflect on your own work and process in order to improve as a professional.

Aanvullende informatie

Questions about the minor?
Contact Peter Buis,

Questions about the Kies op Maat procedure?
Contact Tracy Hepp-Walker,

​Expected costs for materials and travel +/- € 100,00

Applications will be processed in the order of receipt of signed learning agreements.


The teaching and examination regulations of the Bachelor programme apply.

Our goal is to help you develop an approach to understanding, framing and solving problems based on so-called designerly ways of thinking and acting. This means that while this minor will be interesting for students on design courses, it will also be interesting and useful to students from "non-design" courses.

Overall we are looking for students that are:

  • Open
  • Curious
  • Analytical
  • Able to empathize with others
  • Proficient  at working in teams
  • Willing to reflect on and learn from practice 
  • Good at understanding theory and applying theory in practice 
  • Able to move and learn independently and able to apply self activation 

In addition, since the minor is given exclusively in English, you should speak and write good English, and be able to read and comprehend university-level English texts quickly and thoroughly.

If you are interested in joining us, then please send an email in English to the address below outlining the following:

  • What are your reasons for choosing this minor?
  • What you would like to learn and experience during the minor?
  • How you see the minor fitting into your longer-term plans and goals (for example, how do you see the minor being useful to you in your internship, graduation project and / or career)?


Course components - number of credits (ECTS) - test format

Kick-off & design challenges - 4 ECTS - individual process book

Project 1 - 4 ECTS - team process book

Project 2 - 4 ECTS - team process book

Project 3 - 9 ECTS - team process book

Design theory - 3 ECTS - participation and individual portfolio

Personal project - 6 ECTS - project presentation and individual process book

If a student fails to successfully complete the minor in the period in which she took the minor it is possible to finalize the minor in a following period in which the minor is given.

If a minor is no longer offered or in case the minor is rewritten, the degree programme will offer students a further two opportunities to finalize this minor in the following year.


​Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design. HarperCollins.
Cross, N. (2007). Designerly Ways of Knowing. Springer.
Cross, N. (2011). Design Thinking: Understanding How Designers Think and Work. Berg.
Dorst, K., & Crabill, P. (2006). Understanding Design: 175 Reflections on Being a Designer. Gingko PressInc.
Fallan, K. (2010). Design History: Understanding Theory and Method. Berg.
Hall, E. (2013). Just Enough Research. New York: A Book Apart.
Heskett, J. (2005). Design: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
Kolko, J. (2011). Exposing the magic of design: a practitioner’s guide to the methods and theory of synthesis. New York: Oxford University Press.
Kumar, V. (2012). 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization. John Wiley & Sons.
Lawson, B. (2006). How designers think: the design process demystified. Oxford; Burlington, MA: Elsevier/Architectural.
Martin, B., Hanington, B., & Hanington, B. M. (2012). Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions. Rockport Publishers.
Stickdorn, M., & Schneider, J. (2012). This Is Service Design Thinking / Druk 1: Basics - Tools - Cases. Bis B.V., Uitgeverij.
Tassoul, M. (2009). Creative Facilitation. VSSD.
Weinschenk, S. (2011). 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People. New Riders.


A large part of the minor is project- based and you will be expected to work with your teammates and coaches at least 4 days per week. 

In addition to teamwork and coaching most weeks will include two instructional workshops and a theory seminar.

Finally, you will be expected to work on your personal project throughout the minor.


Team project coaching - average 3 hour per week

Instructional workshops - average 3 hours per week

Seminar - average 2 hours per week

Individual (personal project and study) coaching - average 1 hour per week

Unsupervised project work (team and personal) - average 24 hours per week