Divergence: A Design Thinking Game Kit for Quick Innovation

Looking for an interesting way to learn design thinking? Divergence is a fast-paced storytelling game designed by Hong Kong Design Centre to help creative teams to unleash imagination and grasp the innovation process through a friendly round of gameplay.

Institute of Design Knowledge04 Mar 2022

[The following content is provided by Institute of Design Knowledge]



Institute of Design Knowledge (IDK) of Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) just released a game kit for professionals and young learners to quickly pick up design thinking with fun.


The Divergence game kit guides players to collaborate and compete to solve a user-centric challenge by practicing essential design thinking techniques. IDK created it especially for creative teams like intrapreneurs, start-ups, educators or even students, who are interested in using design thinking as an innovation process but hesitate to start.


“Design thinking is a creative problem-solving approach that helps us develop innovative solutions through a human-centred approach, yet it does take time to master its skills. With Divergence, IDK reduced the learning hurdle by boiling down the essential skills into an interactive gameplay of about 1.5 hours. In the long run, we hope the game kit will inspire more individuals and organisations to join us and leverage the impact of design thinking,” says Tasuki Mak, Programme Lead of IDK.



Learn as You Play


Divergence works like a card game, but challenges teams for quick thinking and storytelling. In this four-staged design thinking journey, 3-6 players will create a character and deep dive into the behaviours and needs. Next, the individual players must strategically outbid others by identifying varied innovation opportunities with assets acquired. Then comes a round of quickfire ideation and rapid prototyping, where all players must compete for the highest score through elevator pitches of their best design.


Building the character is core to the human-centricity of Divergence – with empathy and imagination, the fictional character comes to life once players build its traits deeper and discover the hidden needs when prompted with questions on the cards, from more factual ones like the character’s occupation and personality, to more conceptual ones like the character’s emotions and personal goals.


According to the team’s input, the character created could be an entrepreneur who wishes to restructure his own business, or a teacher looking for ways to improve student’s learning experiences, etc. Players will then use opportunity cards to help them imagine what areas of innovation might work – like social, business and tech elements (for example, how might we employ XR to help my NGO reach better crowdfunding results?).


Finally, each player will ideate possible solutions and pitch a final solution, which is peer-scored based on its innovativeness, impact and feasibility, as well as the player’s presentation skills.


“As its name implies, divergent thinking is key here. We also added some random challenges to freshen up each round of gameplay, but more importantly to encourage players to revisit the game for gradually building their design thinking skills,” says Mak.



More Learning Support


A print-and-play version of Divergence is downloadable here. For further support on learning design thinking, check out also the IDK website, where you can find more tools and resources.



Divergence Game Kit download: https://www.idk-hkdc.org/toolkit/divergence 

IDK website: https://www.idk-hkdc.org/