WALL-E and Eve sort of represent the difference between engineering and design. In the early stages of development of a product, service, place, or experience much of the focus is placed on engineering. That's why many products may be well-engineered but poorly designed.
Apple Computers knew from the beginning that their edge in the world marketplace would be determined by including both high quality design and engineering in every product. Walt Disney saw that design would separate their parks from the ubiquitous but tawdry thrill-ride parks scattered around the world. The Corporate 500 world knows that today they need design to survive in the global marketplace.
Folks like Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, Richard Florida and Thomas Friedman have been pointing out the importance of design for years in their best-selling books read by corporate leaders around the world. The business world has gotten the message but the world of education is a bit on the slow side. Technology teachers have begun to include design in their standards and teaching in an effort to catch up with real-world needs.
Students need to learn design thinking today:
1. Ideation (Identifying, clarifying and researching a problem)
2. Visualization (brainstorming, generating potential solutions)
3. Prototyping (selecting a possible solution and testing it by making models)
4. Implementation (present the best solution, produce it, disseminate it and evaluate it.)