d.school

The d.school is a place where people use design to develop their own creative potential.

At the d.school, we believe everyone has the potential to become an innovator. No matter what field or industry you’re in, we invite you to immerse yourself in a d.school experience.

We engage with everyone from Stanford faculty, educators, executives, professionals, designers, to students beyond Stanford.

Seamus is an Experience and Curriculum Designer on the Teaching and Learning team at the d.school. Below you will find a handful of the projects and courses he has been involved in designing and delivering.


 

Stanford 2025

Our university—like most—was designed around a model of education that has remained fairly constant for hundreds of years. But many schools and educators are currently looking at this model with fresh eyes. The potential disruption posed by online learning allows us to question how time, space, expertise, accreditation, and student agency may also change within higher education. Many parts of the undergraduate experience are ripe for reinvention.


 

Creative Gym

Build creative confidence and sharpen individual design thinking skills. Train your intuition and expand the design context from which you operate every day. This experiential studio introduces an identifiable set of skills essential to developing a strong personal practice of design thinking. The fast-paced hands-on exercises will lay the mental and physical foundation for a potent bias toward action, and a deeper knowledge of the personal skills that expert design thinkers utilize in all phases of their process.


 
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Design Thinking Studio

In a world that is messy and unpredictable, human-centered design offers a set of tools, methods, and abilities to navigate complexity and drive positive change.

Design Thinking Studio will help you develop your own human-centered design process through real world projects, immersive fieldwork, and deep collaboration with teammates from across the university. The class is project-based and emphasizes adopting new behaviors of work. You are expected to show up, try new ways of approaching problems, and contribute to the learning of others.

We will ask you to experience, discuss and develop your own design abilities including: navigating ambiguity, learning from others, synthesizing information, experimenting rapidly, building with intention, moving between concrete and abstract, communicating deliberately and designing your design work, through project partnerships and special guest lectures.

Innovation is accelerated by variety of thought, approaches, and experiences. We’re looking to bring together a diversity of cultures and backgrounds to make this the best class possible.

Enrollment is limited and an application is required.


 

Narrative Identity & Design

Stories help us make sense of the world around us. From a young age we begin to shape our own identity by forming a narrative in our head to help us understand—and remember—who we are in this world.

There are outside forces also actively trying to shape our narrative identities to have us fit within the story they want to tell (From religion and governments to friends and family). Sometimes we fit; but most times there is at least one thing that doesn’t quite fit...

So what happens when you don’t identify with the narrative that has been shaped in your head?

This class is an opportunity to understand how and why narrative identity works and explore what role design thinking might play in helping bringing awareness and agency to people looking to rewrite a narrative identity.

Students will work with local kindergarten students to understand how (and why) narrative identities are formed and produce an original children’s book designed to properly reflect that story.


 

Abstract to Concrete

Nothing makes sense. We make things make sense…it’s what makes us human. Your ability to navigate between abstract and concrete is one of the most challenging mental skills to develop and the most critical in executing any design problem and operating every facet of your everyday life.

Inject intention into your work and life by crafting sense out of ambiguity and meaning into all that you do by developing, practicing and strengthening your design ability to navigate between abstract and concrete. Students will learn and practice several applied skills with hands-on activities that vary in length, duration, deliverables, and concept. The course focuses on six key elements of navigating between abstract and concrete to develop tools that make individuals better design thinkers and life more manageable.


 

Mapping for Memory & Vision

Maps are everywhere. So much so, that we take our map mindset for granted. This class cracks open what that mindset is and how it can be used for purposes beyond geography. Students will experiment with their own mapmaking endeavors and learn about a variety of cartographic traditions. Ultimately, students will use mapping to exercise design skills in the service of memory and aspiration. The class is inspired by Stanford's own Rumsey Map Center, one of the best private map collections in the world.