Day 6 (6/24) Reflection:

On day 6 we visited Skidmore Studios in downtown Detroit.  They are a design studio that exclusively uses design thinking to solve their client’s issues. They tell clients there is no other way for their services to be helpful if they do not use the design thinking process. There is a HUGE trust aspect to the process, and if the client does not trust the process, either the outcome will suffer or Skidmore will not do business with them.

Day 6 3 Day 6 2 Day 6












Here are my notes:

Design thinking is…

  • Good for business
  • Leads to better solutions, better results, and better profits for the clients
  • A verb, not a noun (Design is a process)

*At this point we were given a riddle…here were our clues

  • Cabin in the woods
  • 4 men are dead inside
  • There is snow outside
  • No prints leading in or out of the cabin

How did they die? (if you want to answer this either reply or ask me)

Hint: You need to brush aside our assumptions (always keep asking why when interviewing)

3 key things to Design Thinking (all part of the interview process)

  • Challenge the assumption
  • Rock the status quo à there are many ways to find a solution
    • Must have a purpose
    • Be real à authenticity is so important

3 core questions to guide you

  • What’s unique to your brand? à what they are about and why they are unique
  • Who are you talking to?
  • How do you engage them? à bridge between Q1 and Q2


They gave us the example of Nike v. Adidas in the London Olympics.  Adidas paid millions of dollars (an understatement) to be the official sponsor, but Nike made a bigger impact by getting their product inside the games rather than just on top.  They made neon colored shoes for athletes to crave and then wear, and people remember this more than the official sponsor of Adidas.  This happened, Skidmore argued, because Nike designed the shoe to be an unofficial sponsor for their brand.

Skidmore uses 3 steps to their design thinking method:

  • Discovery (same as Core Q1)
    • What is your pain? What do you want that you do not have? How can I help you? Why do you call yourself ____?
    • In order to better understand a specific challenge they begin with no preconceived solutions, they ask hard questions, and they never accept easy answers.
    • Strategy (Core Q2)
      • Create a complete plan of action aimed at nailing the client’s goals and objectives
      • Execution (Core Q3)
        • Launched off the foundations of discovery and strategy to develop extraordinary creativity with meaningful ROI.

In general, always be curiousà don’t take any answer at face value

Always ask 5 why’s which will lead you closer to root causes

After we visited Skidmore, we headed back to the studio to work on our own POV statement.  The idea of the POV is to really do our best to empathize with our users and find what problem(s) lie within.  The POV should have no solutions laid within the statement and should really just have three components


I go into much greater detail about POV in Day 5 reflections.  Anyway, as I mentioned in the Day 5 post, there are 3 types of POV’s (Madlib, Metaphor, and Personal Ad statement).  I used the metaphor technique.

Here is my written POV:

Detroit is a manufacturing Mecca. Makers need manufacturing resources, both big and small. John, the maker, is young guy who loves to work with his hands at a local maker space but he worries about his safety and security. 

At night, he is anxious to walk the dark empty streets surrounding the building. Similarly, he loses sleep thinking about tools and works that could be taken during open houses or closed hours. 

 John struggles to bring up security with other makers because the space is simple, rugged, and inconspicuous.  On the other hand, more security features would relieve him of his worries, but John does not want to become the maker cop. 

 How does John resolve his personal and material security issues while preventing a corporate maker space?  

 The video has already been posted (last post) but check that out here as well at my YouTube page.