Designing a product with empathy is one of the skill sets students will learn at the design thinking workshop. Two participants took turns to show items in their wallets; they then interviewed each other before each designed a new wallet for the partner.

A design thinking workshop is now being offered to all TCU students.

For the first time, the workshop will be offered to all majors, not just interns who are going to Ethiopia.

There will be 23 total students attending the workshop.

Professor of marketing practice at the Neeley School of Business Dr. Stacy Landreth Grau is coordinating with Cedric James, assistant director of TCU’s Idea Factory, to create a workshop where students can attend lessons in empathy, creativity and innovation in problem solving.

Students will have the opportunity to interact with participants from different majors to reinforce the diversity of perspectives.

“It’s important to have lots of different people from lots of different perspectives as opposed to just everybody who’s doing the same thing and same background,” Grau said.

The students that will intern in Ethiopia can apply what they learn during the workshop to their trip. This workshop will offer tools to help the interns figure out how to create revenue-generating businesses for Ethiopian women.

“I’m hoping it’s going to be useful for them when they get to Ethiopia,” Grau said.


Photo Courtesy of Elaine Cole
Dr. Stacy Landreth Grau attended Stanford University’s Design Thinking bootcamp in summer of 2015, and since then Grau has been working with faculty members to bring awareness about design thinking methodology to the TCU community.

Grau said the workshop is about a “human-centered design.”

The idea of human-centered design is to encourage students to observe, interview and develop empathy for the people whom they’re serving.

At the workshop, Grau and James will instruct students to implement a full design cycle. The steps consist of empathy, define, brainstorm, prototype and test.

Students will get hands-on experiences with each step by designing wallets for their peers.

Grau said she will convey the significance of innovation in many fields and hopes to inspire innovative ways of thinking to all students’ disciplines.

“Innovation is needed in education, sciences, social change organizations,” Grau said. “It’s a framework that can be applied in a lot of contexts.”

The best way for students to understand the design thinking is to experience and find out how the creative solving-problem framework can be applied to their majors, James said.

“All [are] welcome and just to see how this framework can be useful in their disciplines,” James said.

Lunch and beverages will be provided at the workshop.

To sign up for the workshop, students can contact either the idea factory or  email Grau.

The design thinking workshop will take place Feb. 26 in room Room 211 of Rees-Jones Hall from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Tuyen Hoang is originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Tuyen is a transfer student from Brookhaven College. Tuyen is a junior journalism major and sociology minor at Texas Christian University. She serves as the administration reporter for TCU 360.