Royal Roads B Comm team, Morgan Clausen (left), Scott Marrs, C.J. Scott, Jonas Albrecht and James Pringle, work on the second round problem for the Design Thinking Challenge hosted by Royal Roads University April 3 to 7. (Lindsey Horsting/News Gazette staff)

Royal Roads hosts design thinking challenge

Okanagan College won second place overall at the challenge

Royal Roads University hosted its first Design Thinking Challenge with eight colleges and universities from across Canada.

Royal Roads’ business school has hosted a case competition for 15 years, which was based on the same principle. The students are given a challenge and need to find a solution, but the challenge has a fundamentally different structure.

At previous competitions teams would be presented a problem and work towards a solution, not discussing their findings with each other and were judged based on quality of product, regardless of the process.

Design thinking is all about collaboration and teams are judged on the process as well as the end product.

There were two rounds to the challenge.

Teams were given a societal problem in February, presented by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, and had to provide a solution that would work in their respective cities.

The problem: the number of single-occupancy vehicles coming into the city each day.

Teams worked on it for a month, submitted a solution and the panel of judges gave them feedback the day they arrived in Victoria. In the second round, teams were presented with an updated version of the challenge: older adults and decreasing the use of single-occupancy vehicles in Victoria.

The Royal Roads B Comm challenge team is familiar with design thinking and have been meeting every week since last October. They have participated in a mock design existence project for Anawim House, to help improve ways to increase revenue.

Collectively, they are comfortable with discomfort and have a high acceptance for failure, having to pivot and find a different solution. They felt the toughest part about completing this challenge was the time constraints and the process.

“One of the nice things about this process, even if we get to that point [run out of time], if we gain a really insightful piece of information or a changing of the problem at that point, there’s a lot of value that can be gained from it,” Royal Roads team member, James Pringle said.

The Okanagan College team had never been involved in design thinking before February, but felt that was to their advantage for the challenge. This proved to be the case, Okanagan College placed second overall, but took home first place in the final Victoria-based challenge.

In the first round of competition, through testing and observation in the field, team Okanagan realized Kelowna doesn’t have a traffic problem yet, but at the rate it’s growing it could, so the team re-framed the problem. They decided to figure out how to retain walkability and the close-knit community feel Kelowna used to have, while the city is growing.

Okanagan team member Loni Johnson said they noticed similarities between Kelowna and Victoria and applied what they learned in the first round to the second round challenge.

“It’s apparent that there’s a community aspect and meaningful relationships here too,” Johnson said. “You’re not just giving them something more convenient, if they can find joy or meaning in the commute, they’re more likely to take that up.”

Royal Roads professor and design challenge contributor, Michael Pardy, said as an educator he likes to help his students be more comfortable with uncertainty and failure, and likes design methodology because it’s about additional ways of thinking.

He said the 21st century requires a process-driven product and students need to be willing to test and fail.

In his classes, Pardy will have students complete one or two projects, but within those projects they submit eight to 10 assignments. Pardy then gives feedback after each step: submitting a topic, basic research, first draft, and final product.

This year’s challenge encouraged teams to visit each other’s presentations and share ideas or use another team’s idea as a starting point for your own.

There was representation from Guelph-Humber, NAIT, Kwantlen, HEC Montreal, McMaster, Okanagan College and two teams from Royal Roads. HEC Montreal took first prize overall.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

lindsey.horsting@goldstream

gazette.com

Just Posted

Technical rescues on the rise for local fire departments

Rescues allow firefighters to use different skill set

Westshore Warriors have back-to-back undefeated seasons

Local players could continue to play together at Belmont Secondary

Fundraising events ramp up for Tour de Rock

Dancing with the Cops, barbecue and garage sale taking place

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Falling tree kills B.C. woman during hike

Woman from Williams Lake dies on popular trail north of Campbell River

Hells Angels celebrating 35th anniversary party on Vancouver Island

Additional police resources will be in Nanaimo this weekend as roughly 300 members and hang arounds are expected

New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

About 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is discarded in Canada every year

B.C. couple reunited with dog three years after disappearance

A purebred Pomeranian is back with his parents, likely after years in a puppy mill.

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

A day after back-tracking, Trump defends summit performance

Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump at first sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Most Read