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New Center For Design Thinking Opens At Manhattanville

New York State Senator Shelley Mayer presents Manhattanville President Michael Geisler with a proclamation from the State of New York recognizing the opening of the Center for Design Thinking. Photo Credit: Manhattanville College
Business, education and government leaders who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R): Louise Feroe, Marsha Gordon, Bridget Gibbons, Michael Geisler, Dwight Hilson, Alison Carson and David Buchwald. Photo Credit: Manhattanville College

Manhattanville College’s new Center for Design Thinking is officially open for students and visitors alike.

The opening was celebrated Tuesday, Sept. 10 with a gathering of leaders in business, government and education. The Center for Design Thinking will “facilitate collaboration on solutions to challenges businesses face,” officials say.

What exactly is design thinking? Defined as a process for creative problem-solving with a human-centered core, design thinking encourages groups to concentrate on the people they are creating for. Experts say this process leads to superior products and services.

As the first center of its kind in Westchester, the Center for Design Thinking in Purchase is one of the only design thinking centers at a college.

Michael Geisler, President of Manhattanville College, emphasized during the opening that the center is essential to assist with training of skills that will be in high demand when the current generation of students hits the job market.

“Design Thinking is the key to merging the traditional strengths of a liberal arts curriculum with the practical requirements of training a human workforce for tomorrow’s market,” said Geisler. “The workforce of tomorrow needs to be flexible and capable of adapting to changing work environments quickly, a human workforce that can compete successfully against AI and Machine Learning-based programs that threaten to eliminate 40 percent of existing jobs.”

Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester, also called the center an “important initiative that brings together higher education and the business community.”

Numerous departments at Manhattanville have started integrating design thinking into courses, officials say. The college has even started a Design for America studio on campus, which enables students to learn and apply design thinking to “mission-focused issues.” There are just 35 of these studios nationwide.

“Bring to us your challenges, your customer experience gaps, your infrastructure conundrums, your processes in need of improvement,” Geisler said. “We will put our teams of trained design thinking faculty and students to work.”

For more information about the Center for Design Thinking at Manhattanville College, click here.

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