Ivanka Ivanova

Who am I

Master in: design thinking, architectural design, visual thinking

Focus on: training design and delivery, customer research, visual thinking

Number of trainings: > 10

Number of sprints: > 5

Industries: architecture, construction, hospitality, education

I'm Ivanka and I believe that everyone has their own superpower. Mine is to understand people and their motivation. When I was choosing my career, I was looking for something that would fulfill both my passion for creativity and my love for people. That is why I chose to become an architect. I’ve always loved the complexity of the architectural process and how it’s like solving a puzzle. In my mind architecture was not just about creating a building, but an experience and a story that people will co-create with the building. The more I worked however, the less people I saw. I would hear everyone talking that we design for the people, but I rarely saw it in its true form.

When I discovered design thinking everything fell in place. Now I am actively using it in our architectural practice. With every project I find more and more opportunities to meet people and clients and to deliver what they actually need.

My three most important professional projects

Introducing more innovation and creativity in education in Bulgaria and Europe through the European funded DICE project (Developing Innovation and Creativity in Education) which I managed.

Developing a visual facilitation kit for teachers that allows them to plan and deliver lessons more visually and in a way that engages the pupils in a co-creative learning process in the classroom.

Designing a human-centred and environmentally friendly mountain shelter in Vitosha Mountain using the means of design thinking.

My biggest failure and lessons learned

Once I was working with a group of super skilled and experienced architects. We had to develop a project for a competition and I thought human-centered approach could differentiate our proposal. However, it was hard to convey what I meant. No matter how hard I tried to explain how a direct contact with the people we're designing for could accelerate us, they seemed to not buy-in. Until I took them for a field trip.

Lesson learned - ”Show, don’t tell.”

On Sunday I get up early to...

make pancakes for my boyfriend or go for a walk with him.