Kidz Design Lab: Building Design thinking for the future


The Kidz Design Lab (KDL) is a new and unique way of enabling customers to be participants in a design process. It is a lab, a methodology and a brand where kids develop products for kids. This paper presents the methodology of KDL, which represents an extreme exemplar case illustrating the inclusion of end users as designers. As the customers themselves develop the product, the methodology emphasises embedding the customer into the particular setting of the product rather than to empathise with them, as suggested by design thinking. The methodology of KDL extends the scope of the design process and incorporates the development of a business case, packaging design and marketing as well as negotiation with producers and distributors. In particular, the products are sold based on a presentation of the prototypes to distributors, rather than the final product. This enables KDL to severely reduce risk for the owner of the product as well as shorten the process from an initial idea until the product is in the store. Based on the documentation of the design process using a television crew, KDL enables storytelling and personification. The holistic thinking of KDL has important implications for practitioners in that it shows the benefit of integrating different stakeholders related to a product in the development process. It also illustrates the benefit of developing process
facilitation skills for product developers in order to enable involvement of customers. As the product is sold before production, KDL allows for extensive risk reduction compared to many traditional product development processes.
Keywords: Design education, Creativity, Children design education, Innovation


The project presented in this paper is interesting regarding testing Design methods and teaching Design to kids. However Im concerned about the ethics involved in this. Reading the paper I didn´t see a clear statetment regarding how this thematic has been approached by them. If you are using children to collaborate with the creation of products that are going to be sold in the future by a company isnt it considere children´s labor. (The kids that joined this project were between 8 and 13 years old). Is it right to use children´s creativity energy to sell products even if it is for good thing like making products that are more relevant to other children?


Skjølsvik, T., & Steensen, S. (2018, September 6). Kidz design lab: building design thinking for the future. International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dyson school of design engineering, imperial college, London, United Kingdom.