We are living in an age that is moving more rapidly than any to have come before it. Changes to the climate, technology and our very social fabric present us with a range of ‘wicked’ problems to try and solve. Design Thinking offers an agile and dynamic process through which we can explore possible solutions to a ‘problem’.

Design Thinking has been adopted by many outside of the design field in recent decades, from corporations who use it to improve systems, to governments that want to future-proof policies. It does this by allowing people to explore a variety of different solutions, based on research, and with minimal risk.

We will be integrating Design Thinking across the five days of the Picture Justice Australia program, applying it to storytelling in particular:

Days 1 & 2: Empathise and Define

Day 3: Ideate

Day 4: Prototype

Day 5: Evaluate

Learn more about the steps of Design Thinking by clicking on the image hotspots below.

Design Thinking Methodology
Empathy is at the heart of being able to both define and solve problems. We come to understand who is effected by problems and how. You develop empathy through research. Different research methods include reading literature related to an issue, ‘walking in their shoes’ simulations, interviewing, and other forms of data collection.
Once you have a deeper understanding (and empathy) of the issue, you can begin to define what the problem actually is. It might not be what you thought it was from the outset. Your research could have revealed something completely surprising. Defining the problem is important for narrowing the scope of the project, so that you can focus on the real issue.
Using your research and defined scope, the ideation phase is where you let your creativity run free! No idea too big or too small! Ideation should be fast, furious, and uninhibited. Brain storming and mind mapping are two great ways to start the ideation process. You can refine your ideas towards the end of this stage of the method.
Prototyping is a cost-efficient way to test your ideas. As the saying goes: test early, test often. When you can do it cheaply, with an eye towards sustainability, prototyping can allow you to test your ideas, either on yourself or have users test them for you. Prototypes can be made out of anything, from cardboard with sticky tape and glue, to plasticine and rubber bands. It’s all about using what you have to hand, and getting creative.
Testing and evaluating go hand-in-hand. Design is iterative – that is, it’s like a loop. Everything we learn informs practice, and everything we make is tested and evaluated against what we have learned and whether or not it helps to solve the problem. That’s why we always need to go back to the beginning – to be sure our solution address the original question, and our definition of the problem.


The Whitlam Institute’s Civics Education workshops inspire young people to think critically, and to take action on the things that matter to them.

How to Make Change combines an understanding and practice of civic education with the philosophy of positive social change. It invites participants to reflect and consider the type of world they would like to inhabit. Activities build on the importance of personal values and leadership, and

Activating student voice ties in well with learning across the curriculum syllabus areas of civics and citizenship, difference and diversity and critical and creative thinking


We begin this workshop with some of the key ethical considerations journalists and designers need to consider when create stories. Learn to prepare for an interview, write open and closed ended questions, learn recording basics, and tips for active listening. Participants will then write their questions and interview another participant. By the end of this workshop, you should all have full interviews to work with for the rest of the week. This workshop will be part of the ’empathy’ and ‘define’ and ‘ideation’ stages of Design Thinking.


In this full-day workshop, we will begin with an overview of the cameras, followed by working with different forms of light. We will then look at bringing your interview and photography together, so that you can begin to visually design your story. This workshop will include the ‘ideation’ stage of Design Thinking.

Narrative Development

With your interview and photographs complete, we begin this full-day workshop with a ‘Yard Sale’. Everything create will be put onto tables and walls, and assessed collaboratively. We next look for overarching narratives that span the various images and interviews, before refining the content and creating mash ups. This workshop will include the ‘ideation’ and ‘prototype’ stages of Design Thinking.

Story Editing

In the last full-day workshop, you will finalise your works, ready for inclusion in a projected exhibition for ArtWalk 2019. You will create your final text and image edits, or finalise your mash ups. At the end of the day, participants will share these final works. This workshop will include the ‘prototype’ and ‘evaluate’ stages of Design Thinking.