TCA Launch: Design Thinking Workshop

The Design Thinking workshop was presented in simultaneous sessions with the Improvisation Workshop on Saturday afternoon. The purpose of the workshop was to help generate new ideas and projects that the TCA could undertake to serve the taiko community. This workshop was organized and led by Susan Yuen.

Prior to arriving at the meeting, participants spent time interviewing a member of the taiko community. Participants were specifically matched with others in the community who had a different experience and perspective from their own. The interview questions included:

  • How did you start playing taiko?
  • Please describe your group, and how it operates.
  • Please describe the moment when you knew you were “hooked” on taiko.
  • What does taiko give you that you don’t get from other activities or pastimes?
  • What is your experience with the taiko community? Have you attended conferences?
  • Is there anything you want that you are not currently getting out of taiko?
  • What are your goals for the future?

Participants were asked to take notes during the interview, and to bring their notes with them to the Launch Meeting. At registration, they were given a photo of their interview subject, which they carried with them to all the workshops and discussion sessions. The idea for this was that they could represent the “voice” of their interview subject at the meeting, particularly in the Design Thinking workshop.

During the Saturday afternoon session, participants learned about a 5-step process called “Design Thinking.” This workshop was adapted from one that is given by the Hasso Platner Institute of Design at Stanford. The 5 modules of the workshop are: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. In 1-hour and 45 minutes, the TCA Launch Meeting participants were taken through the process and “designed” a project that would “improve the taiko experience” for their selected users.

Workshop Materials

The Powerpoint presentation for the Design Thinking workshop is available here: Design Thinking for TCA.


Participants discuss the thoughts and feelings their interviewees shared with them.

TCA-3636 TCA-3643 TCA-3648

They identify what their interviewees need and brainstorm ways to help them.

TCA-3848 TCA-3847 TCA-3732 TCA-3843TCA-3955



Groups create prototypes of possible solutions to the needs of the interviewees and present them to the rest of the participants.

TCA-3673 TCA-3678 TCA-3689 TCA-3865 TCA-3873 TCA-3936 TCA-3924 TCA-3914 TCA-3886 TCA-3879 TCA-3764 TCA-3747 TCA-3721 TCA-3711