Re-Think. Re-Imagine. Re[D]-Frame.

Re-Think. Re-Imagine. Re[D]-Frame.
issue 04 | winter 2018
Uncommon Ground - Re-Think. Re-Imagine. Re[D]-Frame. - Winter 2018

A new lab on campus is showing
students how to use design thinking
to solve real-world problems.

The world is full of “wicked” problems that seem to defy solution: health care, data security, terrorism. The arena in which the next generation of our students will come of age calls for creative leadership of a type we may not have seen before. 

So, how can Denison prepare graduates to meet these obstacles on behalf of the companies, organizations, and communities they’ll serve? Enter the Red Frame Lab, a new space on campus that exposes students to innovation and entrepreneurship as ways of being and acting in the world.

The Red Frame Lab uses “design thinking” to promote creative problem-solving. Julie Tucker ’09, assistant vice president for student development, describes design thinking as “a method for solving complex, human-centered problems. The method rests on the ability to ask the right questions, to be an astute observer and listener, and to design, test, and rework solutions until they truly meet the need.”

Students have already used the lab to apply creative problem-solving skills to challenges that range from cultural (how might we increase students’ awareness of international news?) to logistical (how might we provide summer storage for students’ stuff?).

Located in Slayter, the lab is full of materials for thinking visually and “prototyping” solutions for these and other challenges. Staffed by successful entrepreneurs with knowledge to share, the lab offers individual students and groups access to coaching and advice as well as workshops on different facets of design thinking and entrepreneurship. Denison Enterprises, a student organization committed to entrepreneurship (having nailed the student storage issue), has found a natural home in the lab, as well as on-point advising from  the Red Frame’s entrepreneurs in residence.

Tucker sees the Red Frame Lab as perfectly aligned with the College’s mission and character. “Denisonians are doers,” concludes Tucker. “This provides a uniquely Denison way of engaging with the world and helping students bring their full creative selves to the challenges they encounter.”

—Rose Schrott ’14

Published December 2017