Parent Weekend Workshop, February 27th

Parent Weekend Design Workshop, February 27th

Once upon a winter quarter, an entrepreneurially-inclined student on the design kids list (Erin Parker ’11) reached out to Design Initiative with a fun proposal. She was starting up a service, called Urban Street Guides, that would allow people to share their passions for local activities with visitors.  Erin asked if Design Initiative wanted to put on a creativity workshop or design tour for Stanford’s then-upcoming “Parent’s Weekend”.  Our response: chyah!

Parent's Weekend

[photo credit to Erin Parker]

The idea sounded like fun so on Sunday, Feb. 27th, a rockin’ team of design thinkers (Rob Ryan ’11, Shuqiao Song ’11, Mattias Lanas ’11, Ariana Koblitz ’12, Kingston Tam ’13, Nishant Jacob ’13, & Michelle Lee ’14) from Stanford Design Initiative invited curious, fresh-minded parents to come to and play! Design Initiative students led families on a tour of showcasing and explaining’s many idiosyncrasies such as the fanatical obsession with whiteboards and the origins of the mysterious yet playful “booth noir” room.

The tour went all around before finally reaching studio 2 (Look ma, no desks!). Here, parents launched into an action-packed workshop meant to teach them the basics of the’s design thinking process. To get into the creative groove, we all started by participating in some activities that were a throwback to the days of kindergarten. Ah yes, that glorious time in our lives when playing silly games and drawing with markers was the coolest, bestest thing ever. (Actually come to think of it…visual thinking is still the coolest!)


Check out the solutions that your parents designed for the student coaches / users!


Aren’t you just so proud of them?! We definitely are. :)

We put on the workshop so that family and friends could get a chance to experience the amazing design programs that Stanford students have access to.  And in getting a little taste of what we do as students, we hope that they will better understand and support their students and Stanford’s design programs in their ambitious adventures to use their learning to solve the challenges of the world!

(But let’s be real, we also put on the workshop so we could show our parents this crazy thing we do and try to convince them that the tuition money is worth it–hopefully it worked. ;) Thanks Mom & Dad!

And, special thanks to Charlotte Burgess-Auburn for helping us to arrange all our space bookings! (She is Director of Community at and one of the advisors for Design Initiative).