Design Thinking Tonic – First Shot: People & Spaces

Wednesday evenings & Friday field trip
May 22 & June 5, 6:00p – 8:00p, Studio 2
May 24, 9:00a – 5:00p, Google field trip
0 units

You have taken one or more classes and got infected with the design thinking bug. Now you have graduated and the effect is starting to wear out as you adjust to the “real world” (*). This experience will bring your design thinking vigor back, and help you keep it for good (and even infect others!) In this first shot, we will explore the behavior of people in spaces designed for innovation. We will use Google as a playground to observe and understand people’s behaviors in physical space, to then draw insights and prototype hacks and solutions that can be translated to invigorate other workplaces.

The philosophy of the class can be summarized as “Tiny Prototypes for Big Impact”, inspired on the Tiny Habits framework by BJ Fogg. By the end of this experience, you will have implemented real prototypes within your organization.

(*) This experience is especially designed for alumni. If you are close to graduation and can “see” this in your future, you are welcome to apply as well!

Enrollment limited to 20.
Having taken at least one class is required.
To apply: fill out a short application form at (deadline 4/1/2013)



I’m not an alumn(a). Can I still participate?

We will be focusing on prototyping in the actual workspaces. However, it would still be applicable to the Stanford world (student organizations, laboratories, etc.). And we imagine that perhaps you have a life outside The Farm 😉

I have never taken a class. Can I still participate?

We have designed this experience starting from the premise that you have familiarity with design thinking. If you do, while never having taken a class at the, please feel free to apply, and let us know how you got exposed to design thinking.

Teaching Team
Leticia Britos Cavagnaro,
Frederik Pferdt, Google

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro,

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, is fascinated with how we learn and the dynamics of creative teams. Growing up, one of the people who influenced her the most was her basketball coach, who taught her that perseverance and team play can do much more than just win championships. In design thinking she has found the ultimate team sport that pushes her onto greater challenges. She’s not sure what the next play will be and she’s comfortable with not knowing. She comes from the world of science, where she acquired a couple of degrees, strong analytical skills -which she balances with creative thinking-, and the ability to learn from failed experiments. Venturing outside of the biology lab, Leticia found that designing learning experiences was just as challenging, and even more rewarding. She isn’t planning to give up experimenting any time soon though. Leticia is a lecturer, and the Associate Director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). She has collaborated with the’s K-12 Lab and, as a former member of the Research in Education and Design team (RED Lab), explored ways to measure the impact of design thinking. As co-lecturer of the Creativity and Innovation course, she gets to witness the journey of students as they develop their creative confidence and go on to accomplish amazing things.

Frederik Pferdt, Google

Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt is the Global Program Manager for Innovation & Creativity at Google and leads an extremely talented global innovation team at Google that develops innovators and a thriving innovation culture. Frederik was nominated visiting scholar at Center for Design Research, Stanford University and is founder of the LearningDesign:Lab. As a research scholar at EdLab, Columbia University, he created inspiring human-centered design experiences for various groups from kindergartners, teachers to CEOs. He authored and co-authored books about Innovation, Design Education, eLearning, Change Management and Coaching and published over 18 articles in relevant national and international journals. He lives in the Silicon Valley with his wife and son.

Design Thinking Tonic – First Shot: People & Spaces