Korhan Eser

Digital Product Designer

Design Thinking [Turkey]

A Humanist NGO

Coffee Talk

This story starts where two of my friends and I were sharing our stories when we all explained basic design methodologies to our friends, family and most shocking to our *clients*. Even though we were all working at different companies, problems we were having were the same. There was a huge lack of design know-how. All these jargons, workshops, methodologies, *designers* seemed a bit loch-ness to the unaccustomed audience. That's where we've all formed a meetup and meet people who had a *design-o-phobia*.

Humble Intentions

Sinan, mocked up a logo to upload to the Facebook event page and we blabbed some random event description. Our intent just did another coffee talk we've done before with the people we don't know. Even a couple of pints after that. For the location, we've asked our neighbouring communal workshop area. After all, they had a coffee-machine that we can abuse. We had around ten people were coming to attend our meeting on FB. On the meetup day, we caught when were quite least expected. People were showing up one and one after. In the end, our humble design baptism intent turned into a large event and people were willing to listen to us. We were quite unprepared. We've had to let everyone sitdown and welcomed everyone and turned our humble event into a panel on the spot. Instead performing 'an improvised acting' on the stage, we decided to empathize why there were so many attendees for such a random FB event. So we've offered the microphone to people and asked what they were theirs intends to attend.

Upon Demands

We were quite shocked by the demand to the meetup. The reception after the meetup was positive. Majority of the attendees were expecting us to make a follow up (even though we weren't prepared at all). So we've sat down and analysed the problems of our attendees approach to their needs. At this point, we've decided to teach our knowledge by doing workshops for fictional business scenarios. We were aiming to teach people how to apply design thinking methodologies to their daily life, businesses and researches. This time, we've prepared beforehand and created fictional problems and came up with actual workshop materials. Again, the reception was amazing.

A step further

We could see people were learning and adapting their learnt methodologies to their businesses/daily life. There was one thing lacking tho. As weren't seeking any profit for these events we started to lose meaning for the meetups at some point. A few requests from actual clients were popping up and asking for paid consultancy services -which was the exact opposite of our intends. We've set our mission to be fun and not to be focused on profit from the very start. At this point to take our cause a step further we've decided to move our fictional scenarios to Istanbul's urban problems -which are many. And we were just following openIDEO's organization model for the time being when we were organizing ours. As we were going to take a step into a reality, it was time to get in touch with openIDEO. After a few email conversations, we've officially rebranded ourselves as openIDEO's Istanbul Chapter.

openIDEO Istanbul Chapter

As we've reshaped DTT into openIDEO, we decided to focus on the actual problem instead of the fictional ones. That meant we also had to take a problem from a blank paper and come up with a solution at the end. Of course, it was impossible to do in one session. Especially during people's free time. So we've divided our session journeys into pieces where we've collectively defined a problem, analysed it, come up with solutions and prototyped it. As for now openIDEO is still active in Istanbul and working with Istanbul municipality at the moment.

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Design Thinking [Turkey]