Creative integration of design thinking and strategic thinking in a design education framework

    Woonghee Park Affiliation
    ; Hyun-Kyung Lee   Affiliation


With rapid globalization, designers are increasingly required to use creative integration of strategic thinking and design thinking to deal with complexity and uncertainty in an era of constant transformation. This study reviews the current status of design education to address the key question of how strategic thinking and design thinking can be enhanced creatively in undergraduate design students’ education in South Korea. Furthermore, it investigates the key drivers for and barriers to the enhancement of strategic thinking and design thinking; seeks insights from successful design education programs; and gathers perspectives about strategic thinking and design thinking from design students, educators, and strategists. By using qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (a questionnaire) research methods, the study offers significant insights: (i) design undergraduates’ short-sighted mind-set should be reshaped, (ii) additional practical, multicultural, and interdisciplinary applications of strategic thinking are needed to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical classes, and (iii) consistent stimulation is required to internalize strategic thinking and design thinking.

Keyword : creativity, design thinking, interdisciplinary application, strategic thinking, undergraduate level

How to Cite
Park, W., & Lee, H.-K. (2021). Creative integration of design thinking and strategic thinking in a design education framework. Creativity Studies, 14(1), 160-174.
Published in Issue
Apr 23, 2021
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Amabile, T. M., Hill, K. G., Hennessey, B. A., & Tighe, E. M. (1994). The work preference inventory: assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(5), 950–967.

Anderson, T. (2003a). Art education for life. The International Journal of Art and Design Education, 22(1), 58–66.

Anderson, T. (2003b). Using art criticism strategies in ethnographic research. Visual Arts Research, 29(57), 155–162.

Anderson, T. (2004). Why and how we make art, with implications for art education. Arts Education Policy Review, 105(5), 31–38.

Bonn, I. (2005). Improving strategic thinking: a multilevel approach. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 26(5), 336–354.

Borja de Mozota, B. (2003). Design management: using design to build brand value and corporate innovation. Allworth Press.

Britannica. (2020). Creativity.

Brown, T. (2009a). Change by design: how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins Publishers.

Brown, T. (2009b). The making of a design thinker. Metropolis.

Casakin, H. P. (2007). Metaphors in design problem-solving: implications for creativity. International Journal of Design, 1(2), 21–35.

DesignDB. (2020). Dijainsaneob Tonggye.

Design Management Institute. (2020). What is design thinking?

Gaut, B., & Livingston, P. (Eds.). (2003). The creation of art: new essays in philosophical aesthetics. Cambridge University Press.

Guilford, J. P. (1973). Characteristics of creativity. Springfield.

Halvey, M., & Keane, M. T. (2007, 8–12 May). An assessment of tag presentation techniques. In C. Williamson & M. E. Zurko (Eds.), WWW ‘07: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 1313–1314). Banff, Alberta, Canada. Association for Computing Machinery.

Herrmann, M., & Goldschmidt, G. (2013). Thinking about design thinking: a comparative study of design and business texts. In A. Chakrabarti & R. V. Prakash (Eds.), ICoRD’13: Global Product Development (pp. 29–40). Series: Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering. Springer India.

Holston, D. (2011). The strategic designer: tools and techniques for managing the design process. HOW Books.

Jacoby, R., & Rodriguez, D. (2007). Innovation, growth, and getting to where you want to go. Design Management Institute: Review, 18(1), 10–15.

Jantsch, E. (1972). Inter- and transdisciplinary university: a systems approach to education and innovation. Higher Education, 1, 7–37.

Jehn, K. A., & Mannix, E. A. (2001). The dynamic nature of conflict: a longitudinal study of intragroup conflict and group performance. The Academy of Management Journal, 44(2), 238–251.

Kefallonitis, E. G. (2007). Foolproof design management education. Design Management Institute: Review, 18(3), 23–28.

Kumar, V. (2009). A process for practicing design innovation. Journal of Business Strategy, 30(2/3), 91–100.

Kurzweil, R. (2004). Daniel H. Pink: The MFA Is the New MBA. Hardvard Business Review.

Lee, H.-K., & Breitenberg, M. (2010). Education in the New Millennium: the case for design‐based learning. The International Journal of Art and Design Education, 29(1), 54–60.

Martin, R. (2009). The design of business: why design thinking is the next competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review Press.

Mayo, D. T. (2020). Strategic planning tools. Reference for business.

McCullagh, K. (2008). Strategy for the Real World. In Th. Lockwood & Th. Walton (Eds.), Building design strategy: using design to achieve key business objectives (pp. 67–78). Allworth Press.

Ministry of Knowledge Economy. (2013). Set Up a Committee for Integrated Design Education. Ministry of Knowledge Economy Announcement, 15 March, 2013 [unpublished source].

Mydans, S. (2007). Across cultures, English Is the Word. The New York Times.

Nasi, J. (Ed.). (1991). Arenas of strategic thinking. Academic Bookstore.

Norman, D. (2013). The design of everyday things. Basic Books.

Peng, G. C. A., & Baptista Nunes, M. (2007, 9–10 July). Using PEST analysis as a tool for refining and focusing contexts for information systems research. In Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies (pp. 229–237). Lisbon, Portugal. Academic Conferences Limited.

Pohl, Ch., & Hirsch Hadorn, G. (2007). Principles for designing transdisciplinary research. Oekom Verlag GmbH.

Runco, M. A. (2007). Creativity. Theories and themes: research, development, and practice. Elsevier Academic Press.

Sarkar, P., & Chakrabarti, A. (2011). Assessing design creativity. Design Studies, 32(4), 348–383.

Shin, D., & Kim, J. (2012). An improvement scheme of curriculum for major courses of visual communication design-focused on foundation studies courses of undergraduate studies. Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea [unpublished source].

Tan, K. H., & Platts, K. (2005). Effective strategic action planning: a process and tool. Business Process Management Journal, 11(2), 137–157.

Woyke, E., & Atal, M. (2007). The talent hunt: design programs are shaping a new generation of creative managers. Bloomberg.

Zaki Dib, C. (1988, 20–24 July). Formal, non-formal and informal education: concepts/applicability. In J. Barojas (Ed.), Cooperative Networks in Physics Education: Conference Proceedings, Vol. 173. Inter-American Conference on Physics Education (pp. 300–315). Oaxtepec, Mexico. American Institute of Physics.