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

Royal Roads University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sewage installation to delay drivers along Sooke Road until early September

Construction starts Monday, August 10 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Langford boy wakes up from surgery to find stuffed puppy wearing the same cast

Hospital staff outfitted ‘Eddy’ the puppy to match the young patient

VIDEO: Annual artist studio tour goes virtual on Saanich Peninsula

ArtSea converts popular event to online format with personalized artist videos

Local Flavour: Youth take the lead in Victoria’s Pollinator Leadership Team

Guest writer Thompson Hygge, summer intern with Pollinator Partnership Canada

Flyover at B.C. Leg to commemorate National Peacekeepers’ Day

August 9 marks biggest single day loss of Canadian lives from peace operations

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read