About Ideaflow design studio.

Meet the design thinker behind Ideaflow Studio and the journey that has come to be 

Ideaflow Studio is a design studio where we like to research design, practice design and teach

Design has many different ways it can be approached, but in essence, it is about translating ideas into reality. Ultimately, making abstract thoughts into tangible things. These tangible or so called artifacts can come in many different forms. Whether it’s a new service, system, type of graphic or most likely, a new app. Some designers specialise in their field, such as Industrial Design. Some focus more on the methodology of Design Thinking. 
What makes Design Thinking special, is its focus on the ‘fuzzy’ front-end development of a new product, service or intervention. This is the early stages where ideas come to life and  magic can happen before justifying large investments in a concept. This shift towards a focus on research, ideation and prototyping has brought out what we call design thinkers and ideators.


The Ideaflow story

Oriole is the design thinker behind Ideaflow Studio who has a passion for research, design and education. Oriole’s 10+ years in the design industry has taken many routes on his drive to seek different ways of working, problem solving and approaches to design. Ideaflow Studio came into fruition when Oriole began to work as consultant and realised there was body of work and knowledge that had not been showcased and he would like to make Design Thinking more accessible. Oriole also felt that Design Thinking also needs to be made more accessible to those who would like to learn more about the methodology and how it can be applied to their field.

While Oriole developed unique skills and a niche within the industry here in South Africa. It also made sense to have a platform where Design Thinkers can share their experience and knowledge with others practitioners.

Therefore, Ideaflow Studio is a platform for all things Design Thinking and to connect with organisations who may need these Design Thinking expertise. Be sure to look out for exciting resources and experiences that will be useful for any innovator, business owner and problem solver and student.

Oriole Bolus

Design Thinking consultant

What is unique about Oriole's journey as a Design Thinker?

 Oriole is Cape Town lead Design Thinker and educator who helps companies and early-stage startups shape their products and services through  methodology, visualisation,  ethnographic-based user research, usability design, UX architecture and various design strategies. 

What is different about Oriole’s experience?

A specialised focus on Design Thinking

After completing a degree in Industrial Design. Oriole worked in the design industry and after a few years decided to go back to university to complete a Masters in Design Thinking. The research looked at how Design Thinking helps startups create, capture and deliver value 

Diverse and dynamic work experience

Oriole also worked as a Design Researcher at the Cape Design Institute, further working as a Design Thinking/UX Lead  and Design Thinking consultant at reputable agencies such as Lacuna Innovation and currently as DYDX Innovation management consultants   

International study Experience ​

Oriole studied part of his Masters in the Industrial Engineering Faculty at Aalto University in Finland, studying courses such  Strategic Management, Design Strategy and Innovation and Service Design

Coaching & Teaching

Oriole has a Design Thinking certification from the UCT dschool and has taught Ideation and design for 5+ years on part-time basis while working in industry. This experience and practice has allowed him to facilitate and learn important coaching skills for education and team building

Join the Ideaflow Studio journey

Passionate about the power of design thinking

Ideaflow Studio is driven by a passion for Design Thinking. An effective methodology that can be applied to any problem area or social challenge. The key approach to Design Thinking is a  human-centered approach to solving problems.

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Helping companies and organisations navigate the uncertainty

User expectations are growing and urban environments have become more complex 

People are dynamic and have special attributes, now more than ever before. To be a good designer, we need to redefine and launch experiences that address peoples real needs in a constantly evolving digitally connected era. Design Thinkers can make sense of technology and how these can be used as tools to address people needs. Technology is merely an enabler, as it becomes more sophisticated so do people expectations become higher. How the experience is designed for a particular persona is essential to its success, as well as the viability and feasibility factors to make it all work.

Achieving a solution that has longevity in a world where technology, lifestyle, and expectations have become more complex, is difficult. This requires design that is more  responsive to the user and the environment. Design Thinkers are equipped to navigate the uncertainty it takes to come up with new value propositions and also understand how to translate insights into useful products, services or interventions.


Why work with a designer

Designers are taught to understand a  users needs and present a desirable solution

In recent decades, design has been acknowledged more and more as a valued resource for any organisation. This doesn’t mean employing more designers but in essence success is becoming more determined by how design-minded organisation is. As such, this is to employ the mindset of Design Thinking and creativity.  This value has been recognised much for its recognition that can bring to different aspects of the business. Therefore, companies understand more and more that they need to invest in design to stay competitive. What designers do and what Design thinking can bring are the following:

Designers have a user and human centered approach

Designers are able to understand the needs and desires of the customer or user, by doing primary research. The solutions are then validated and are fit for purpose and desirable to those that use them. Design Thinking enables the designer to encourage user stories and gain insights they will only find from the users themselves.   

Designers value prototyping 

Testing ideas are very important for lowering the risk of investment of time and resources made on a solution that is not adopted. A designer works iteratively to test ideas and improve them throughout the development process. Prototyping allows for feedback on an idea or concept, to ensure a more relevant and desirable outcome. If done effectively, prototyping can increase the speed of development.

Designers are naturally visual and good communicators  

The beauty behind designers is they can make things visual and tangible – drawing flowcharts and models, sketching out the idea. This allows complex and ambiguous projects to be made simple. In doing so, ideas can be rapidly communicated and creates a medium for a common understanding, between partners, developers, designers and the users.