【Call for Applications】 Design Thinking for Your Creative Practice - Skills and methods to help you work like a designer

Updated: November 20, 2020

We are pleased to inform you of the exciting workshop; "Design Thinking for Your Creative Practice" to be held in coming January and to commence "Call for Applicants" for the workshop. This workshop has been held by Tokyo Tech every year since 2014 and got over-subscription every time because the workshop is helpful to understand core of Design Thinking; concepts of Creative Confidence and User Centric, and they are informative and enjoyable for its nature of speedy, "Silicon Valley" style process, by inviting 3 facilitators and instructors from the US. This time, the workshops will be held online due to COVID-19.

Instructors of the workshop are: Thomas Both, David Janka, and Scott Witthoft. They are all professional product designers and educators. They teach design thinking at the Stanford University d.school,The University of Texas at Austin, and at organizations around the world. The instructors are happy to return to Tokyo Tech for the 6th session of this workshop!

Although this workshop will be held as a part of ToTAL's course of "Fundamental Group Work for Leadership", any Tokyo Tech student who have not registered the course or any student from other universities can apply to the workshop. Please check the details of the workshop below. It is essential for students to have the capabilities of "leadership" and "entrepreneurship" in our borderless society in order to generate new values.

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Last year's workshop

Date & Time

■Day 1: 16/Jan(Sat) 08:30-13:00
■Day 2: 23/Jan(Sat) 08:30-13:00
■Day 3: 24/Jan(Sun) 08:30-13:00

Each round of workshop will be on ZOOM.

Max. number of students

Up to 32 students


  • In addition to ToTAL students and students who have registered to ToTAL course of "Fundamental Group Work for Leadership", any Tokyo Tech student and any student from other universities can apply to the workshop.
  • In case of over subscription, selection will be made.
  • In case of selection, both ToTAL students and the students who have registered to ToTAL course of "Fundamental Group Work for Leadership" may have priority and your answers to (1) English capability, (2) your aim(s) and expectations on this workshop, and (2) how you can contribute to other team members, on the application form may be considered.
  • Attendants to this workshop will have to make commitments on (1) attending all 3 days, and (2) with no delay nor leave early for each workshop.



  • The workshop will be entirely in English. (Scores over 750 on TOEIC and 80 on TOEFL iBT are preferable).



Deadline for application

18/Dec/2020 (Fri)

Tools for on-line workshop


  • By considering the nature of this workshop, all attendants will be requested to show their faces during on-line workshop. Please access to the workshop from an environment with a good internet connection.

How to apply the workshop

If you want to join the workshop, please apply from URL below. Please fill out all necessary information.

■Application form: https://forms.gle/oGVwyQErt4BPfyeu8

Results of the selection will be informed to all applicants after the deadline for application above (18/Dec).


Please contact Prof. Yamada/ToTAL to the following;
Email: yamada.k.be@m.titech.ac.jp
Room: O-okayama, S6-309B


Participants of last year's workshop

<For your references>

  1. Facilitators:
  • Thomas Both:

Thomas is a designer and design educator whose passion is helping people understand the practice of human-centered design--and their ability as designers--to innovate how they learn, think, and solve problems. He is director of the Designing for Social Systems program at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) at Stanford University. In this program, he teaches professionals how to apply design thinking to complex social challenges and facilitates workshops for social impact leaders to develop a more human and strategic practice.

  • David Janka:

Design consultant and creative strategist; former Fellow and current lecturer at the Stanford University d.school. David has a medical degree from Stanford and works to integrate design thinking principles into medical education, healthcare delivery, and medical device design.

  • Scott Witthoft:

Professional space and product designer; Associate Professor of Practice at University of Texas at Austin; former Fellow and lecturer at the Stanford University d.school. Scott is author of the book "Make Space," a tool for designing collaborative spaces. He has a professional background in structural engineering.

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Thomas Both    David Janka      Scott Witthoft

2. Comments from students who joined last year's workshop:

■Tokyo Tech M2: This one is more active, has more activities, not much lecture. So, I can focus on the workshop all the time. And making prototypes make me feel that design is not something that far away.

■Tokyo Tech M1: I think the idea of design thinking itself can be very helpful in our general interaction with other people. The main thing that I got was to be more intentional in communication and be willing to app.

■Tokyo Tech B3: Leadership means leading the team with better ideas in my opinion. Entrepreneurship is also about great ideas and making it reality. so, all the things I have learned at this workshop is helpful to these two.

3. ToTAL's aims for this workshop and characteristics of the workshop:

  • All Tokyo Tech students are expected to develop and execute new values for society when you become "professionals" in any fields. ToTAL believes that the core of "leadership" should be the motivation and skills to develop such new values for society proactively.
  • The concept of "Creative Confidence: Anybody can be creative and present new ideas and be "User Centric"; making situations to execute and accept such new values in the society" are considered to be the fundamentals for that. Establishing such concepts in your mind, making logic and taking actions will lead to such new values.
  • Although it is often understood that Design Thinking is a method to generate "innovations" by following 5 steps; empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test, the core of DT should be the 2 concepts above.
  • The aim of this workshop is to establish such 2 concepts in your brain and body. d.school tutors designed the agenda especially for Tokyo Tech to satisfy such aim, which are different from usual design thinking workshop which teaches to follow the 5 steps.
  • During this 3-day workshop, students are expected to understand and experience the mindset of Creative Confidence and the skills of User Centric; exploring mechanisms of needs through the d.school way of speedy, friendly and diversified environment.

4. Reports on "d.school comes to Tokyo Tech 2019"

Prof. K. Yamada, ToTAL
e-mail: yamada.k.be@m.titech.ac.jp TEL: 03-5734-2323