NYC Dept. of Education: Design Thinking for Program Development

Professional Trainings, Social Impact Strategy
About This Project


Developing an Educational Program Design Thinking Workshop and Toolkit


During the early stages of their iZone initiative, the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Innovation was looking to build the capacity of their team to pilot new programs and engage in innovative problem solving. The agency sought out TYTHEdesign to provide strategic support and build their familiarity with the design thinking methodology




TYTHEdesign and the iZone team engaged a core group of administrators in co-designing educational pilots, the framework by which the iZone tests its new initiatives. Our team customized a series of workshops to familiarize the iZone with the ‘Design Thinking’ problem solving methodology and how it could support the development and implementation of these educational pilot programs. Each workshop was interactive, modeling activities and strategies for use in iZone’s own pilot work.


To augment the series and support larger implementation of the approach, our team designed and developed a design-thinking-inspired toolkit for approaching educational based pilot design, execution, and evaluation. The toolkit included insights both identified by enageing the participating administers and the typical challenges of working in the New York City education context.




A Framework for a New Educational Model

The workshop series and toolkit provided the strategic scaffolding for a 2 year pilot that has continue and develop beyond the initial timeframe, influencing hundreds of students across New York City.


A Usable Toolkit

The user-friendly toolkit made for easy incorporation of the design thinking methodology and provided a unified framework for implementing skills learned in workshops.



Client: NYC Department of Education: Office of Innovation


Collaborators: Ellie Wendell, Lora Lui, Kena Hazelwood, Kristina Drury


Year: 2013