In planning the #Prizmah17 Playground we started, basically, from scratch. We knew the playground would be the “innovation space,” but what exactly did that mean? We had the good fortune to be able to partner with educational design team Wonder By Design in order to think through our ideas as well as to turn those ideas into reality.

Image Credit: Silvia Tolisano

We spent the day together (documented here by Silvia) doing design thinking around the big question of  what this space could and should be.  Our day of design thinking was a day of dreaming, discussing, asking, noting, creating, dissolving, brainstorming,
revisiting, debating, and even turning ourselves upside down to see things in new ways. At the end of the day, had we “solved” our design challenge? Of course, not; our design-think journey had only begun. However, we had progressed enough to have decided on four areas for the playground. Those areas: The Think Studio,  The Reflection Pool, Escape the Classroom and Innovation Alley expressed what we believed to be most vital to share and express with the educators who would visit the Prizmah Playground.

The Think Studio was created in order to provide opportunities for innovative thinking. The Reflection Pool was included to make visible our belief that reflection is a vital part of the process of innovation. The Escape the Classroom and Innovation Alley spaces featured examples of innovative work that educators are currently doing in order to spark ideas for participants and give them opportunities to play and explore.

We also decided upon four essential questions that would shape the space and guide participants’ thinking and experiences while in the space.


There are many sources that outline design-thinking using different descriptions of the process. Ultimately, though, design-thinking is an innovative mindset, the acknowledgement that moving forward is less about a solution and more about a journey of ideas and experiments . My own definition of design-thinking also incorporates the understandings that the smartest person in the room is the room and that fail= first attempt in learning.

Interested in seeing more from the #Prizmah17 Playground? Check out the PrizmahPlay17 Twitter Feed.
Were you at the conference? Did you visit the Playground? Please share your own reflections in the comments.
Want to know more about design thinking including what took place in the Playground’s Think Studio?  Stay tuned, as that will be my next post.