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Why Design Thinking?

Design thinking solutions are found at the intersection of need, possibility, and opportunity, compared problem-focused approaches adopted by researchers to solution-focused approaches adopted by designers.

Design thinking can enable interdisciplinary approaches to research by providing a framework to iteratively work toward solutions to real-world problems. 

MIRA Resources

  • How can design improve approaches to interdisciplinary research on aging? 
    Presented by Audrey Patocs, December 7, 2018 | Slides
  • MIRA Innovation Workbook: User-centred research
    Prepared by Robert Fleisig and Harry Mahler. This workbook is intended to guide researchers in their application of design to user-centred research | Workbook
  • Patient Engagement Resource Guide
    Presented by Julia Abelson, January 23, 2018 | Document
  • Design Thinking Workshop
    Presented by Robert Fleisig and Harry Mahler, February 15, 2018 | Slides
  • Design Thinking Webinar
    Presented by Robert Fleisig | Webinar | Slides
  • Persona Scenarios
    Persona scenarios are detailed, but generalized descriptions of potential users or stakeholders. They can be used to help designers or researchers empathize with multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Described in Valaitis et al, 2014 | Examples


  • HTHSCI 4ID3: Innovation by Design | Website
    This course enables students to learn about and engage in design thinking as a method to asses problems/challenges and create innovative ideas. 
  • DesignCORE, IT Carlow, Ireland | Website
    MIRA and DesignCORE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2017. DesignCORE Director Collin Deevy and Resarch Leader in Design Ethnography PJ White visitied McMaster University in November 2017 to help launch MIRA's major programs of research in exercise, nutrition and mobility in aging, and technology, environment and mobility in aging
  • ABBY by Ambient Activity: A case study in design thinking | Website
    MIRA seminar presented by Andrea Wilkinson, Marc Kanik, Mark Chignell and Judy O'Neill on March 20, 2018

Further Reading


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