University of Kentucky

Laboratory on
Design Thinking

Part applied research lab and part education improvement organization, the dLab applies teaching, research, and service to better understand how design thinking can serve as a frame for leadership and change in organizations.  Through our work, the Lab seeks to learn how human centered design can solve tricky challenges facing residents in Kentucky, the United States, and across the globe.

Always learning

We disseminate
what we learn

Learn more about what we do from our books, chapters, presentations, workshops and courses, 

Our Principles


Over 190 undergraduate and graduate students have earned university credit in our course, Design Thinking in Education. Students work in diverse, collaborative teams to address challenges in the community. They attain skills, tools, and mindsets which enable them to apply design thinking as a lens for leadership.


We use an integrative approach that combines mixed methods and applied research to discover how and where design thinking works. We used this information to
• discover new inclusive principles of practice,
• democratize strategy-making in organizations
• lift the voice of the voiceless.


We help leaders to break through problems they’re trying to solve by building capacity in their organization to find undiscovered solutions to longstanding challenges. We do this through engaging workshops and leadership coaching .

Would you to be a part of the Lab's work?

Find out how you can be involved