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  • Writer's pictureAteneo Intellectual Property Office [AIPO]

AIPO's Creative-Thinking Workshop Empowers RTU Faculty to Innovate outside the Box

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

On August 10, 2023, from 9 AM to 4 PM, the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO) in partnership with the Rizal Technological University (RTU) - Intellectual Property Management Center (IPMC) and RTU-Technology Transfer and Business Development Center (TTBDC), organized a hands-on, in-person Design Thinking workshop. The goal was simple: help RTU faculty members think outside the box and come up with human-centered solutions to tough problems. With the guidance of AIPO's experts, Ms Mariela Alcaparas and Mr Steve Chaves, the workshop provided insights into empathizing with users when exploring issues and problem sets and offered practical ways to conduct ideation sessions by themselves or with their teams.

Photo: Ms Mariela Alcaparas and Mr Steve Chaves facilitating the workshop (RTU, 2023)

The workshop broke down the Design Thinking process into easy steps, focusing on understanding user needs, generating ideas, making prototypes, and testing them out. One of the coolest parts of the workshop was the challenge given to participants: coming up with solutions to common rainy season woes. The ideas that came out were as diverse as they were practical. For instance, one group dreamed up an umbrella that collects and filters rainwater, a nifty blend of functionality and eco-friendliness. Another team brainstormed a clever road design that could prevent flooding in streets, showing how innovation can even impact urban planning.

Photo: A new take on the umbrella (RTU, 2023)

Photo: A road designed to prevent flooding (RTU, 2023)

Not stopping at practical solutions, participants also thought about ways to keep social bonds strong during bad weather. A group came up with an indoor game designed to bring families and friends closer together during storms. It was a reminder that Design Thinking can lead to solutions that make life better in unexpected ways.

Photo: An indoor game to promote bonding among family and friends during the rainy season (RTU, 2023)

In addition, another creative group devised an adjustable desk with a built-in treadmill, addressing the challenge of staying active during gloomy weather. This innovative idea showcased the potential of merging work and exercise in a single, practical solution.

Photo: Adjustable desk with a built-in treadmill (RTU, 2023)

The workshop didn't shy away from bigger issues either. Participants rolled up their sleeves and discussed policy ideas for local governments to better support commuters and workers during rainy days. It was a refreshing reminder that creativity can extend beyond products and touch on important systemic changes.

Photo: Policy ideas for LGUs (RTU, 2023)

Group photo of the facilitators and participants of the workshop (RTU, 2023)

In a nutshell, AIPO's Design Thinking workshop encouraged faculty members to think differently, come up with practical solutions, and collaborate in exciting new ways. By turning everyday rainy season problems into opportunities for creativity, the workshop highlighted the power of fresh perspectives. As RTU's faculty members take these lessons forward, the workshop's impact will undoubtedly ripple through their classrooms, research projects, and the university community at large.

If you are interested in learning more about the Design Thinking problem-solving process, feel free to visit the AIPO website at or contact them via email:


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