Graduations 2014: We will miss you guys!!

Well another cycle is complete and graduations came.

We are very happy and proud of all the hard work and results that showed up in the final presentations but in the other hand very sad another great group is leaving.

Just stay active, keep in contact and let´s do more things together soon!

To see the final project presentations please take a look at

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As a matter of Team.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.
It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

Andrew Carnegie

      Today was the end of an important chapter, final presentations in the Design Thinking (DT postgraduate are almost over and my head was inevitably filled with some nostalgic thoughts I would like to share.

I studied fashion design, a rather individualistic way of creativity. I had never worked in a group project, and had never shared my ideas, let alone make them “our” ideas with anyone.
Design thinking has thought me that two heads think more than one. And five goods heads, like the ones I had the opportunity to work with this semester, think better than many.

But let´s start from the beginning, and by that I mean the “project selection day”.
I was late that day, and when I got to the classroom all the cool projects were taken.
There was one nobody had chosen, an outcast, an abandoned puppy. It was ours: I placed my name in the project, and four amazing people did too. They were trying to earn their place in one of the cool things, but in the end… what matters most?

We were a good team in the beginning, but today I can say without a doubt, we became an amazing team. All this time of Definition, Ideation, Creation, Prototyping, Testing…resulted in a great project, but most importantly in the birth of a great group of individuals working together to achieve the same goal.

I now know that it ´s not about the problem you choose to solve, it´s about how you bond with the people you are working with to solve it.
Choose your team, do not choose a project: choose friendship, choose intelligence, choose kindness, choose commitment.
Because, whatever the project, if you have the right people by your side, you will end up falling in love with it.

I don´t mean to brag about my team :) I think it´s of huge importance for the new students in our field to take this into account before blinding themselves with their individual preferences regarding a project.

Thank you for a great semester and good luck everyone!

So.. What is it that you do exactly?

As the end of our university career draws near, and as we get ready to launch into the next adventures in our professional lives, here’s a question to think about: What is it exactly that you do? To be honest, I cannot count how many times this question has been directed to me, especially in the past months – as the job hunt began.


So, what is it that we do? And what exactly does design thinking mean? We learn about it in the classes, workshops, and lectures we attended. We apply it in all our projects, and spend hours upon hours going back and forth between ideas, research, prototyping, and coolhunting. But does this really mean anything to prospective employees?


On my recent travels to Lebanon, I learned that what I have been studying in the past nine months is not familiar to the professionals of the country. By going on job interviews and explaining what “design thinking” is, I wound up with blank stares and quite a few surprised reactions. But why? Granted, before going to the homeland I did my part of the research and saw how little the aspect of Design Thinking is integrated in not only companies, but also on the academia level. Nevertheless, with that in mind, I still sent out my curriculum vitaes and hoped for the best.


My initial intent was to introduce Design Thinking to the universities in Lebanon. Yes, I wanted to teach – and still do. Ideally, I wanted to be one of the persons who help in the launching of such a powerful program, to equip future students with what they need to develop solutions in the most effective ways. I know for a fact that if we train students at an early stage to research and research some more before starting a sketch or a model, this methodology will stick and accompany them throughout their careers.


However. The universities I interviewed with – and I interviewed with three, two of them are of the elite universities in Lebanon – were a bit hesitant to launch a new course (not program, just course) without “testing the waters first”. I did get a couple of good suggestions from one of the elite schools, telling me that I could give workshops and talks to students as a first step. Not bad… for a first step.


The bigger problem we are facing in developing countries (to state it nicely), is that companies and employers are that much more skeptical about spending an extra $10,000 on researching, when they could easily just, you know, start working on the project. There is little awareness about the importance of that first stage in a project, and about how much money and time those extra $10,000 could save the company. So basically, there is a STEEP uphill battle for all design thinkers in Lebanon. Speaking of which, there are quite a few of us who have studied Design Thinking abroad and are now moving back home to try and use it to solve the country’s abundance of problems. But that is a topic for a whole other post.


I realize that I went on and on about Lebanon in this post, but this is an issue that has been on my mind, and I am sure a few of us will run into the same problem as we graduate and leave to start a new page somewhere else. I believe that what we learned here at ELISAVA is a very powerful tool, and we are catching the wave as it begins. We will do big things with this someday, and we WILL figure out how to get people to believe in what we do.


And with that I say: Best of luck to each and every one of you!


Traveling to Amsterdam

This year we have packed our suitcases and flew to Amsterdam. The Dutch capital offers apart from an inspiring environment, many innovation initiatives and people working on new ways to re-think the world and improve standards.

Our first stop was  A-Lab an amazing space motivating the cities best innovator to develop startups and social initiatives. Amsterdam seems to be blooming in new business  models and innovative startups. We also visited other companies and creative spaces dealing with innovation, methodologies and challenges related to service design, innovation projects, and new markets

The MiDI teams pitched their projects to  experts, got feedback and information, tips for solving issues new points of view and a lot of encouragement from amazing entrepreneurs, academics and professionals in town. Thanks a lot to Marieke, Saskia, Peter, Kirsten, Jeroen, Boujke, and the DesignThinkers group Space for sharing.

Thanks to Rodolfo Nevarez for the Images!

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Listos para Trendslab Barcelona 2014?

Este año el Trendslab en Elisava esta mejor que nunca.

Screenshot 2014-05-29 13.01.55

Trendslab Sessions Summer 2013

El equipo de El Fashionista, Magnaprod y DesignThinkers Group se complementa con Kirsten van Dam – fundadora y  director Out Of Officeen Amsterdam. Una agencia de Tendencias que trabaja con clientes como Telefonica, Nike, Starbucks, Heineken, Bacardi, Schiphol Group, T-Mobile, English Home (Turkey),Coulisse, Exact, Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Pej Gruppen (Scandinavia), Coiffure, OpenCommunication Corporation (Taiwan) and Zhejiang University. Kirsten loves connecting dots and people, and has been developing workshops for Nike The India Design Forum, etc.


Un poco de su CV en inglés:

Kirsten van Dam (35), is a Trend Research + Consumer Insight and Design Strategist and a founding partner of ‘Out Of Office’. She obtained BSc and MSc from the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology with further studies at Rotterdam’s Willem de Koning Academy and Lund’s Institute of Environmental Economics (Sweden). For the past 8 years, Kirsten’s professional activity has focused on strategy in future studies, trend & consumer insights, brand consultancy and innovation. Clients include O2, Starbucks (, Amsterdam Fashion School.


Toda la info sobre trendslab 2014 en:


Prototyping with LEGO at MiDI


Systems Thinking, gamification and rapid prototyping are great tools to speed up the process of ideation when research has been completed. The new ideas become feasible or get transformed into new opportunities for our clients and create a very different way of understanding and creating products, services and strategies.

One week of Gamification and Lego sessions have started the fire for the second half of the innovation process for our projects. New opportunities show up and expectations grow.

let´s see what happens during the field trip to Amsterdam and the final presentations in July.

New Projects and Challenges in the DT Program 2014

For this term a couple of new projects have arrived to Midi.

One from Hewlett Packard exploring the world of Interior Design with a new wall decoration product. Our participants have the challenge to help develop strategies and mappings around new opportunities in this industry.

The Bullipedia project from Telefonica, after the finding develop in the last semester has evolved into a knowledge system to help customers, retailers and manufacturers collaborate in the development of better offers and information platforms for both. How to help shoppers find the right style according to trends and store stock?

Menu&Menu is a Small company that offers healthy high quality lunch menus, bringing them in corner shops and stand to big companies in industrial areas. The challenge here is to develop a strategy that combines a good price, communication, packaging, a great user experience and customer engagement for this new brand.

Here is a complete description of the projects our students are running this semester

1. Client: Telefonica Qualify SelfDesign a service that helps customers understand themselves through data collected via mobile devices and improve their overall wellbeing.

2. Client: Mango / Telefonica Smart Style: Design a service for smart shopping for customers who are insecure about style and need a tool like a personal shopper on their phones. it should help sales and brand engagement

3. Client Adama: A social hub that requested the creation of a business model to help homeless people be economically independent and sustainable, considering their lifestyle and habits and special skills

4. Client Menu&menu: they are in the phase of knowing their customer and their eating-at-work habits deeply to develop a brand/product strategy

5. Client Hewlett Packard Printlink: HP is exploring how to improve communications in the construction sector and the construction site trough developing new options to print and exchange of information

6. Client Hewlett Packard Digital Wall Decoration: We are working on understanding the Ecosystem of the Interior design to develop strategies to introduced digital wallpaper to designers, PSPs and final customers.

7. Client Government of Colombia: development of new strategies for communicating Human Rights in order to change the population mentality towards this topic in the new blooming economy that Colombia has now.


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