In a post-COVID world, rethinking the campus experience is critical for defining new pedagogical strategies. As higher education moves toward more student-centred action learning models, university leaders should engage in democratic design methods that empower students and professors. Design thinking (DT) is a user-centred design approach that can aid in the creation of future learning environments. While DT has been used in innovative space design, we know little about how students, professors, and other community members can act as codesign partners. To understand their role in codesign and how their experiences are incorporated into new building design decisions, we need a conceptual model. To develop this model, we examined a case study of the evolutionary co-design process of a new building for a leading information management school in Europe. Using the concept of three phases of design thinking defined by Brown (2009): Inspire, Ideate, and Implement, we collaborated with a group of 50 design thinking students and more than 500 members of the community representing different stakeholders, to create new spaces and rethink the learning experience. Our discussion will centre on the creation of a participatory design thinking model that positions students as design partners alongside university decision makers. The findings conclude that, by applying design thinking methods, it was possible to unveil new dimensions of the success of future campuses that go beyond the building design. Creating meaningful learning spaces that inspire creativity and critical thinking requires an alignment between human centred design, organizational change management and new pedagogical strategies.
- design thinking
- higher education
- human-centred design
- multi-stakeholder co-creation