Thinking Design, Globally

From New York City to Paris, Design Thinking Crosses Cultures

The first Parisian edition of the French-American Digital Lab is taking place in December 2016, on the heels of the second annual French-American Digital Lab that was held in New York City. The ten-day exchange program for six startups from the cultural and creative industries, co-produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Business France, featured one-on-one meetings, creative sessions, networking events and site visits to New York City’s cutting edge tech institutions. Participants experienced a deeper understanding of the US market and how to adapt their products to a global audience.

The New York City event spotlighted an IDSA member who helped raise awareness of design thinking. “Most of the start-ups had not heard much about design thinking and those who had, were not aware of how transversally across the enterprise it can be applied,” says Stephan Clambaneva, IDSA, design business consultant director, Design Studio, 3DS Dassault Systemes.

He co-led an introduction to design thinking workshop for the startups with Deborah Alden, managing director, at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, a Pratt Institute Initiative, It included a warm up using a "wallet exercise"; awareness using empathy maps, bias assumptions and cultural case studies; prototyping; interview prep; interviews of industry experts and locals in the same business as the startups; interview debriefs; brainstorming; updated pitches; feedback; and a wrap up.

The Parisian edition of the French-American Digital Lab is co-produced by the French Embassy and Business France. The six-day program—by French Tech New York and Paris-New York Tandem 2016—features workshops, conferences and networking with leading tech and cultural companies and international, culture-focused start-ups. The lab is supported by the City of Paris, the Institut français, FACE Foundation, Flipboard and Vivendi.