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Extreme by Design: video about Design Thinking applied to real-world problems

by on December 6, 2013


EXTREME BY DESIGN, a new documentary produced by Hawkview Pictures and Kikim Media, premieres Wednesday December 11, 2013, 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS. The documentary vividly brings to life an educational sensation at Stanford University by capturing the experience of 40 students from the Institute of Design (d.school) as they design and build products that may save thousands of lives in Bangladesh, Indonesia and other developing countries they visit. The students use the “Design Thinking” approach being taught in a class called Design for Extreme Affordability.

The student teams, from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, apply freewheeling design methods, tapping previously undiscovered creativity and draw on methods from engineering and design, and combine them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world. Believing that they can and will make a difference, the students open their hearts and brains and remarkably, almost magically, their products take shape and work.

Complementing the film are a series of educational workshops and courses, some of which will be included in PBS LearningMedia, a national classroom- ready digital resource library. Stanford educators used parts of the film in a five- week MOOC (massive open online course) on Design Thinking held last summer for 45,000 registrants. Currently, a 10-week after-school enrichment program, “Creating Change That Matters,” under the auspices of Citizen Schools, is engaging middle-school student teams in tackling real-world problems at their schools. And a series of workshops, “Watch+Design,” for students and educators, serves as a mini-introduction to Design Thinking methods and helps to prepare participants to apply the process of innovation in post-workshop projects.

You can find out more about the project and how to get screenings for educational use at www.extremebydesignmovie.com


  1. […] EXTREME BY DESIGN, a new documentary produced by Hawkview Pictures and Kikim Media, premieres Wednesday December 11, 2013, 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.  […]