This week we were joined by our final Love the City guest speaker, Damini Kumar. Damini Kumar is Director of Design and Creativity at NUI Maynooth and European Ambassador for Creativity. We invited her in to show the work she is championing in Maynooth, discuss the methodologies of design thinking and inspire the team to reach their potential in the future. Damini always dreamed of becoming an inventor and launched her career by inventing the world’s first non-drip tea pot, having studied Engineering and Product Design in London. This opened up many opportunities for Damini, to gain experience in many prestigious design companies. Along the way she moved to Dublin and has since dedicated her career to teaching and inspiring creativity in others.
Damini believes in everyone’s potential to be creative. To unleash this potential she advocates using various deign thinking tools, such as Edward De Bono’s approach of the six thinking hats. By having creative ideas and using design thinking you can create commercial products, which answer the needs of the end user. Damini also shared a number of insights she has experienced in the design process, such as designers should never expect their user to know what they want, the importance of having observation with empathy and understanding the context of the situation. She believes in the potential of design to solve any problem and has exercised that belief with a number of successful projects, such as the ‘Classroom of the Future’ competition, which 1,600 secondary school students entered their designs to re-imagine their educational experience.
Damini has used the design process throughout her life, from work related projects to life and has proven the potential of design to find new ways of approaching and solving problems. The advice she left resonating in our ears was: you can achieve anything if you believe in it! A wonderfully inspiring person to wrap up our speaker series, which has provided the team with new knowledge, new learning’s and a new way of looking at the world.