Innovative design thinking methods: an activity for HTSI students



On February 25, the Factory 103 coworking space hosted a session on ideation, an innovative method based on design thinking. The session was for students of the “Tourism for All” course of the Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (URL).

The participants were international students from partner universities who are currently completing an academic semester at HTSI. They were presented with the challenge of proposing a product, service or experience to Hotel AC Victoria Suite that can make the establishment more accessible and inclusive for families travelling with children with autism.


The session was directed by Alexandra Rodríguez of d+b Intersection, and it started with an icebreaking activity: drawing a portrait of another student.

The participants had visited the hotel several days before in order to use the design thinking method to understand the consumer and develop an empathy map. “After having done so, we think and work in a visual manner. In other words, we define an idea of what we want to do: in essence, ideation”, explains Daniela Freund, one of the professors in charge of the subject.

Design Thinking to make hotels more inclusive 


In pairs, students wrote down 10 ideas and organized them by themes. Among other techniques, they completed an ideation exercise entitled “What If”, which seeks to promote lateral thinking. Each pair then presented the focus of the project and their work lines. The group then informed them of which ideas they found most enriching, and which ideas offered the most added value. The pairs then looked at the empathy map they had prepared in previous sessions, and reworked it using their new chosen focus.

The next step in the “Tourism for All” course was to present an initial proposal, justifying the benefits of the idea so that in a few weeks the hotel can provide feedback on the general interest of the proposal, its benefits, compatibility with the company, implementation requirements and suggestions for improvement, if applicable.

Students were then asked to offer a final presentation explaining their idea from start to finish. To this end, they participated in a prototyping exercise also based on design thinking, among other activities.


For more information:

HTSI works with the hotel industry to promote inclusion and accessibility for children with autism 

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