Introducing young people to design thinking

Not only did we have the privilege of having some work experience students in our office last week, they also shared some thoughts with us about their introduction to design thinking and how this helped to expand their horizons.

Last week the Portable office hosted a group of work experience students from country Victoria, who came to the city through the Boundless Foundation to get some hands-on experience about what it is like to work in design. Sharing our knowledge about design thinking and what can be achieved through a human-centred approach is something we are happy to talk about, so teaching a group of young people about our process was easy to sign on for.

By chance, this also aligned with the release of our Education Report, which these students worked on creating some social media content for, and on giving us some feedback on our report during their visit. Our process for all projects is guided by our principles, one of which is co-designing to actively involve stakeholders, so getting this insight from current students was a great addition to our research. During their last days with us they each put together a piece reflecting their experiences at Portable and how their perspective on design was effected through working with us for a week.


I really enjoyed my time at Portable. Design is a very interesting topic and I really loved being a part of the office. Having the opportunity to explore the broad concept of design has been an inspiring experience. As students, we focused heavily on designing for education and discussing the ways we could improve our education system. One of the first activities we did was create personas and storyboards. The point of the exercise was to empathise with the user, and put ourselves in their shoes by describing a day in their life. We also sat in on a bunch of meetings, made signs for the climate strike and created our own social media campaigns!!


My time here at Portable has given me great insight into the design industry and the broad amount of opportunities and options it brings to professionals in the field. Throughout this week I have focused heavily on the Education Report and made a prototype social media post advertising the need for student voices and input into their education. As a student, improving Australia's education system is a topic that greatly appeals to me. The work conducted here at Portable seems so diverse and I find it very interesting to see the different ways that the clients and designers work together to achieve common goals.

Having the opportunity to spend a week here in Portable’s workspace has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding into the pathways there is into an industry like this and the endless projects there are to explore. After this experience I am more inclined to head towards the marketing or the consultation aspects in the design process rather than the actual artistic process.


I found the experience at Portable very interesting and unique. Working here has been an eye opener for me as there are so many different aspects and jobs in the design field. It made me realise that design is such a broad field with many possibilities and perks. I really enjoyed designing a social media post for the education campaign that we were working on. Graphic design is something I am really interested in, so I was more than happy to work on a task like this.

In the future, I definitely think I will go towards this career pathway and use the planning and brainstorming skills I’ve learnt in throughout this week.


Portable has given my idea of design a huge boost as I didn't know how broad design is. Being a part of some projects that Portable are doing really helped all of us to understand the different parts of the process that it takes to complete one of these tasks. The amount of opportunities that design leads to is huge, so many jobs are based from design, so it’s a great platform to start on.

Download our guide to innovating in the education sector

Related content

Sign up to our email newsletter to get updates about our events, work and research

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.