Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

SGSI 2024: Adventures in Design: A Experience

Main content start


Monday, Sept. 9 – Thursday, Sept. 12, 9 AM – 5 PM (*); Friday, Sept. 13, 9 AM - 12 PM

If you want to succeed in a rapidly changing world, you will need to work with others outside of your discipline and learn from everyone and from every situation. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to develop abilities used by designers towards these goals.


  • Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director, University Innovation Fellows Program,
  • sam seidel, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director, K-12 Lab Program,
  • Meenu Singh, MS Ed, lecturer,
  • Aleta Hayes,  dance concentration coordinator, Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS)

Audience & Capacity

Open to incoming or returning graduate students in any discipline* who are interested in design as a methodology for interdisciplinary collaboration and have not previously taken a quarter-long course. This is not a product or service design class. Space is limited to 32 students.

*MSx Class of 2025 and first-year MBA students are ineligible to participate due to mandatory program requirements.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Learn design as a methodology for boosting your learning abilities 
  • Explore the dynamics involved in working in interdisciplinary teams
  • Explore connections between design and your discipline
  • Learn by iterative cycles of inspiration, action, and reflection


This 4.5-day immersive workshop will take students on an experiential exploration of how design can boost your learning superpowers. Practicing design is a means to develop essential skills and mindsets in a rapidly changing world: identifying and framing wicked problems and human needs, combining analytical and creative thinking, and adopting an experimental approach to bringing ideas to life. This workshop is designed for graduate students of all disciplines who have not previously taken a quarter-long course and want to explore design as a common language for interdisciplinary collaboration. The experience will help students consider applications of design abilities to their own work and domain, and they will leave better prepared to take advantage of courses during the year. Overall, the experience will be a springboard for the students’ exploration of how creative individuals and interdisciplinary teams can foster a culture of learning and innovation in diverse contexts, both inside and outside of academia.

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

“This is what every Stanford student should take. Absolutely life-changing and inspiring!” -SGSI 2021 Participant

"Adventures in Design Thinking is a blast! The facilitators create a strong sense of community and make space for helpful self-reflection before the beginning of the year. I felt challenged and inspired!" -SGSI 2022 Participant

“Great opportunity to meet other new students; and it’s awesome to take a course with the, especially if you might not have the opportunity later. The frameworks for problem solving and creative thinking can be applicable to any field.” -SGSI 2023 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • Full attendance is expected.
  • (*) Mon-Thu: students will have a block of flexible time from 12 noon-3pm to complete a self-paced activity and reflection (~ 1 hour), have lunch (provided), and do non-course related activities or rest.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.

oEmbed URL