Grad School, Design Thinking, And Remembrance
July 02, 2019

Grad School, Design Thinking, And Remembrance


I hadn’t even been a quote-unquote design thinker for a full week before my alma mater contacted me. 

I’d just finished basking in the glory of my first social media post as a full-fledged graduate student. And not just a grad student–but an Emerging Media Design and Development grad student…whatever that meant.

All I knew on my first day of grad school was that I was in the right place. I knew I didn’t want to focus on what I’d been doing in my undergraduate career. Hiding behind a camera or the task bar of an Adobe editor had its charms, but it was too lonely for me. I needed interaction. I needed flesh and blood.

I needed to learn design thinking. 

And apparently, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to learn, too. Because shortly after I posted on social media that I’d started design thinking school, I got a private Facebook message from an old middle school teacher of mine.

I was delighted to hear from Mr. V after all of these years, and apparently, my teacher was glad he’d found my post. Turned out that the very school I graduated from nearly a decade earlier, The Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis, needed some design thinking advice.

According to Mr. V, he and a handful of my other fondly-remembered teachers attended a design thinking workshop over the summer, where they determined that they were going to work toward revamping their existing Holocaust museum.

A Project Begins

This was news to me–I didn’t even know that there was a museum located inside of the school boundaries. At the time of Mr. V’s message, I had to put the advice-giving on hold, as I’d barely even began my graduate education at that point. But within a few weeks, he and I were on a conference call with the rest of the interested HHAI teachers, everyone eager to soak up what I had to offer.

In all honesty, I still didn’t have much, yet. But I was able to confirm the five steps of design thinking for them, along with the promise that I would confer with a professor or two about the giant project that was becoming the revitalizing of a Holocaust museum.

It turned out that I never even needed to ask my professor for help because he presented a semester-long project idea to the class in which we would construct a “game plan” for a theoretical transmedia (cross-platform storytelling) story world–which just so happened to fit the needs of the Holocaust museum perfectly.

Thus, I got to work. (To Be Continued…)