see solve act

Fluid Hive, a Design-driven Innovation Studio

Since 2008, Fluid Hive has combined design, design thinking, academic research, and business experience in Silicon Valley and internationally into a design-driven innovation consultancy. Fluid Hive helps people and organizations to see, solve and act on problems that are complex, dynamic, and interconnected using design-driven innovation processes, methods and mindsets.

Dawan Stanford leanding a design thinking and innovation convening.

Leading Design Thinking DC

In 2013, Dawan started a 15-month journey as the Director of Design Thinking DC, a +4,000 member organization delivering monthly design thinking and innovation-focused events and experiences for DC Metro Area designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and government leaders.

See, Solve & Act

Dawan Stanford’s design-driven innovation work focuses on seeing, solving and acting. Seeing means framing problems worth solving. Solving means designing responses to these tough, complex challenges. Acting means crafting change leadership pathways that make solutions thrive in businesses and mission-driven organizations.

White House Design and Innovation Session


While an Assistant Professor at the European Graduate School in 2009, Dawan published The Novel Imagery, a trans-disciplinary exploration of how we create, embody, and understand meaningful ideas. Dawan has taught design thinking and delivered workshops on service design, design leadership, designing innovation spaces, branding, strategy, and higher education innovation. At the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, a partnership between Arizona State University and Georgetown University, Dawan taught design thinking for higher education innovation to higher education leaders for two years.

DT:DC designing emergency response with preparadness innovation leaders.

Designing Higher Ed

Dawan serves as the Director of Design Thinking at Elon University where he leads the Center for Design Thinking and Elon By Design. Elon By Design’s university-wide mission is to address this design question: How might we generate opportunities for Elon students, faculty and staff to gain the confidence and ability to apply design thinking’s process, methods and mindset to challenges? Pursuing this challenge involves collaborating on courses, leading strategic projects, developing and delivering design thinking workshops, training for faculty and staff, and participating in an international network of universities exploring the future of design in higher education.
Dawan helped launch and lead the Education Design Lab. Serving as the Lab’s Design Director from 2013 to 2017, Dawan helped shape and reshape a mix of design-based problem solving methods to understand and address areas where higher education leaves student needs unmet. These needs fueled framing design challenges and co-creating new education models with universities, nonprofits, business, entrepreneurs and foundations.
Design research, design challenges, workshops, innovation facilitation methods, lean startup, and visual ideation tools and templates are a few tactical ways Dawan and the Lab delivered on their nonprofit mission: designing student journeys into lifelong learning and workforce participation.

Designing for good at the National Forum on Aging, Diversity and Inclusion.

National Forum on Aging, Diversity & Inclusion

In 2015, Dawan designed the National Forum on Aging, Diversity and Inclusion, a two-day Forum where the nation’s leading experts working to improve the lives of older people came together to create a action agenda for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging and beyond.

Fluid Hive services: human needs, service design, journey mapping, design processes, co-creation, problem hunting, service blueprinting, framing and reframing, business modeling, design research