What It's All About...


Figuring out how to explore, dissect, and experience the world around us activates empathy, builds our ability to see the world in multidimensional ways, and enables us to better understand the complex problem arenas we seek to change. Far from your traditional approaches to simple clipboard-based research, this course will help you develop exceptional and rigorous approaches for designing, enacting, and interpreting research.


  • Learn ethnographic, observational and participatory research strategies
  • Determine how to interpret research findings as well as consider ethical approaches to various approaches.
  • Develop a research mindset by exploring terminology and capabilities in research approaches.
  • Discover how to apply specific research methodologies based on individual components of a system and the system itself.
  • Learn how to frame a good research question and design a research process along with personalized approaches to researching and experimentation.


By unpacking a diverse set of techniques for problem identification and exploration – from ethnographic, to observational and participatory research strategies – you will learn how to effectively collect and interpret data. In this course, you will examine how to apply actionable research and responsive feedback loops to develop creative solutions. When you finish, you'll be able to define, understand, and design research methods and techniques, gather observational and ethnographic data, critically investigate responses, and collect information that sheds greater insight into your problem arena. Most importantly, you will discover that research is curiosity and experimentation in action – this course encourages you to develop your own approach to an investigative lifestyle.

Dr. Leyla Acaroglu
Dr. Leyla Acaroglu

As an award-winning designer, UNEP Champion of the Earth, social scientist and entrepreneur, Leyla developed the Disruptive Design Method and designs cerebrally activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help people make the status quo obsolete.

Her mainstage TED talk on sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she leads presentations around the world on activating positive social and environmental change through creative interventions. She is the founder of the UnSchool of Disruptive Design, and two design agencies, Disrupt Design and Eco Innovators. In 2017 she founded a not-for-profit Brain Spa for creative optimists on a farm in the Portuguese countryside.  

Leyla is an inspiring communicator and educator with a PhD in how to make change in the world by design.