Doreen Lorenzo Speaks at C2 On The Importance Of Design Thinking
Doreen Lorenzo, director of The University of Texas’ Center for Integrated Design (CID) and founder of mobile insights company Vidlet, spoke at C2 in Montreal about the power of empathy and design thinking within organizations. Lorenzo has been an innovator and visionary throughout her more than 20 years in product development, serving as president of global creative firms frog design and Quirky.
Design thinking has become a buzzword and almost synonymous with innovation. However, as Lorenzo pointed out in her speech, organizations are finding it hard to adopt design thinking and get the best results. She fears that as companies continue to cut costs, design thinking will become yet another empty, meaningless phrase. Design thinking is a valuable tool, and when combined with business, it becomes the very core of innovation.
In her speech, Lorenzo conveyed the hallmarks of design-led organizations: multidisciplinary design teams embedded throughout the firm, C-level buy-in, and a shared belief that design should benefit everyone — not only the shareholders and the executives but workers and the public. Lorenzo argued that as design infiltrates the corporate world, it must not lose its meaning; it must be purposeful, empathetic, and human-centered.
In her current position as assistant director of UT’s Center for Integrated Design, Lorenzo aims to expand access to design education. She believes that by democratizing design education we can help solve a lot of the business world’s problems. Lorenzo ended her speech with her hopes for the future: empathy should be the foundation for learning, design education should be integrated into other disciplines, and students should start learning about design at a younger age, so that the next generation can create new products and services that are human-centered and promote empathy at every level.