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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Not so heavy books to read


What are some books one could read to learn Design Thinking? The answer can be contradictory. Since, Design Thinking is a skill, is best learnt from on-field experience. However, without knowing what Design Thinking can do, the on-field experience may not be so rewarding after all.

So, what books must one read and not read to attain expertise in Design Thinking?

This post will answer that.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 40,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “Please suggest some awesome and not that heavy books to read?”

Of course, I will not shy away from the book that I often use for my own on-field experience and the book that can be used on the field:


Please suggest some awesome and not that heavy books to read?

Like Bala sir’s top five picks :D

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My Response

First and foremost, design thinking is an application driven methodology. Books and courses are ok to get introduced to the concepts, but field application gives you immense experience that is very valid to you.

Having said that, I think that there are several books on design thinking which are easy to comprehend.

Some books and websites that may help you

  1. - Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society by Prof. Karl Ulrich, U. Penn
  2. - Change by Design by Tim Brown
  3. And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared, by G. Altshuller
  4. - IDEO
  5. - Stanford


In summary, the conflict is between on-field experience vs reading books for learning a skill like Design Thinking

Read basics from books
All the books that I’ve suggested all have basics of Design/Design Thinking. Learn them.
Read about DT cases
Case studies in your specific domain of the problem may help you internalize the concepts of DT.
No learning like on-field learning
When you execute a project, your learning of the concepts is almost permanent 😊

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