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Design Thinking is an approach used to create human-centred, innovative solutions; it carries in itself a space in which two forces – connection and disconnection – meet. I call this space, metaphorically, the zero-gravity space.

I noticed that because people are aching to find new ways to think, when they start to apply Design Thinking to their challenges, they forget to ask themselves: how do I let go of my old mindset?

Traditionally we are used to solving problems from a personal perspective in which we ask ourselves “How would I do this?” or “How would I get out of this situation?”. Rarely we consider other people’s needs. Design Thinking invites you to dive into other people’s universes, which means you would ask “How can you and I understand this challenge?”. It’s in the exercise of letting your ideas go and journeying towards the unknown that we can finally arrive at a discovery.

Practising “letting go”, exploring the unknown with someone else, have the power to make possibilities to emerge inside Design Thinking – this is a (dis)connection state.

This (dis)connection makes us able to create new alternatives for the journey ahead, from a fresh start point. No ties. As if gravity didn’t apply to us. As astronauts that propel themselves into space breaking the boundaries of our universe.

Reinaldo Campos is a partner at Echos, as well as our Head of Learning Experiences. This article is an excerpt from Campo’s TED Talk, “Design Thinking And Zero-Gravity“, as well as from Echos’ Design Thinking Toolkit (download Echo’s Toolkit Chapters 1-7). 

Although Campo’s TED Talk is in Portuguese, you can watch it with subtitles by clicking: Settings – Subtitles/CC – Auto-translate – English

*This article has been translated, edited and adapted by Rani Ghazzaoui Luke.

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