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Robert Fabricant of frog design Discusses Benefits and Limits of "Design Thinking"

Robert Fabricant, VP of Creative for frog design, talks about "design thinking" as part of the Project M case study

“When frog principal designer Michele Tepper visited iTEACH in KwaZulu-Natal, she quickly learned that every conversation, no matter how heated, began with polite greetings. The first ‘hello’ was always the Zulu word Sawubona, translated as ‘I see you,’ with the response, ‘yes, I see you.’ The greeting became a metaphor for the project and particularly for Tepper's role - could she be the eyes for the frog designers, seeing the individuals and the cultures, and in turn iTEACH and the community could see frog design through her.

But frog's designers would be working across geographic and cultural differences. Could hearing Tepper's observations and seeing the pictures and artifacts she had brought back be enough to give them a sense of the lives of the individuals who would potentially use the self-test kit? And how could that knowledge remain live over time, as Tepper and others on the initial team moved on to other projects? How could this team of designers, no matter how talented, develop a concept that would work in South Africa's hardest hit communities?”

- From Yale School of Management Case Study #10-026, “Project M” (this case is open to the public).