Design Thinking, in Practice


Last month we wrote about “design thinking,” an old idea that has found new popularity in break rooms and board rooms of companies from many disciplines. The theory calls for the use of visual tools and prototypes to engage a broad range of stakeholders in all stages of the design process. Here are some examples of how we use design thinking at Fat Pencil Studio.

To Sell Projects

Moving projects forward requires dozens, sometimes hundreds, of stakeholders to get on board with a shared plan. For RFPs and interviews, a clear diagram describing construction logistics can tip the scale with the selection committee. In controversial projects, a public outreach process that includes 3d visualization allows stakeholders to better understand and compare options.

To Win Cases

Most attorneys understand the persuasive power of using visuals in trial. But only a few realize the strategic value of starting work on them at the beginning of a case. The process of building 3d models or information graphics often results in the discovery of better information and helps a legal team find and focus on the most critical issues.

To Share Ideas

When proposing a new product or a novel approach, visual representations of the idea serve two purposes. The process of creating illustrations allows the design team to address fundamental issues without getting bogged down by engineering details. The completed images tell a story that can attract investors and inspire early adopters.


Flight of the Bumblebee / Paul Jazzar


Aquafarm Control / Carl Ivar Holmen


Joshua Cohen is a Principal at Fat Pencil Studio