The Lab

The Laboratory on Design Thinking (dLab) is an issue-based laboratory within the Kentucky P-20 Innovation Lab.

Through its work the Lab applies methods of innovation and processes of design that are needed to address heretofore intractable challenges facing residents in Kentucky, the United States, and across the globe.

Real-Life Innovation Projects

Outside partners, such as school districts, state agencies, and consortia engage the dLab on long-term projects, receiving the attention of a team of scholars, students and other experienced designers for a periods of time ranging several day to several months depending on the challenge. In these projects, partners are co-designers with dLab staff, students and community liaisons in a process of need finding, brainstorming, and rapid prototyping to create new, powerful solutions to the challenges they face.

Education Design Loft

While a great deal of the lab’s work takes place in locations across the state, a key philosophy of the Lab is that work environments can have a significant influence on innovation outcomes. Future plans for the dLab include the development of a Design Loft (dLoft), which will be the heart and soul of the Lab. The dLoft will be where a community of educational entrepreneurs, creatives, designers, and researchers come together for collaboration and solution creation—a space dedicated to the culture of innovation.

Research on Leadership and Change

dLab is also a research lab, where empirical work takes place to deepen the evidence-based understanding of how design thinking, creativity, and entrepreneurial behavior work in the education context.

Increasing Innovative Capacity in Schools and Civic Organizations

As educational leaders realize the power of design thinking, they will begin to seek ways to embed innovative behaviors througout their organization. The Lab provides professional development, housed at UK or at a partner’s site. We have conducted workshops in Kentucky, across the U.S., and in Europe and Asia. Our workshops provide an engaging and exciting way to build capacity within an organization to better drive creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.


Stay in the know about our projects and where we’ll be presenting next.
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