Introducing Design Sprints to Creative Culture Malaysia

Late last year our research partners based in Borneo at the University of Malaysia, Sarawak (UNIMAS) visited the UK. The aim of the visit was to plan the third leg of our Creative Culture project, which took place last December. While visiting our lab we gave them a copy of the Google Ventures Design Sprint book to take back home. Our hope was that the team, and the wider group of staff and students at UNIMAS might find the Sprint methods useful, and maybe they could apply them within their newly launched innovation Lab:

With busy lives at work we forgot all about the book. That was until Fitri Mohamad started tweeting us with different activities she had been running. after being inspired by the Sprint process. It was a pleasure for us to see how much they were embracing Sprint; taking advantage of rapid development concepts to create new teaching and learning activities, and making the best use of their brand new lab space. I am so glad with gifted them a copy!

It’s always a pleasure to see people take advantage of ideas that you believe they’ll benefit from, but the way in which Fitri leveraged the Sprint book was beyond our wildest expectations. I thought they might run the odd Sprint for internal prototyping, but never expected it to impact their students to such an extent. (70 teachers in one bash! 🤩)

From our own experience, and feedback from Fitri and the wider team, the students in Malaysia always so passionate about learning, and to a level I hadn’t experienced before. They are so genuine in their excitement to take part in new experiences, which is infectious. It’s a feeling I miss from my time at UNIMAS. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing, but I’m yet to meet a student or academic that wasn’t engaged and excited to take part in the activities run in Malaysia by the team.

For those not familiar, the Design Sprint is a five-day process for solving problems and testing new ideas. Invented at Google by Jake Knapp and perfect for rapid prototyping of projects, whatever they might be. It’s one of the methods that triggered our work around Frugal Education. It enabled us to build and test new ideas in just a couple of days, roll out pilots, and scale them in record time. This process dramatically reduced the friction, investment cost, and development time of new projects, and permanently changed our working practice.

If you work at an academic institution then you might be able to access the book for free through your institution’s digital library resources. If not, it’s easy to buy from Amazon in a click. I highly recommend a visit to the, where you’ll find more detail about the book and the methods within, as well as useful tools and case studies about its application; more of which can be found at

On a related note, there are helpful tools available on the DMLL’s Beyond Flipped website for academic staff who might wish to run micro sprints – a custom Sprint flavour of our own creation – for designing in-class activities, modules, and even entire undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses. In fact, there is nothing you couldn’t prototype using this process, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

For more information on Fitri Mohamad and the rest of the myCapsule Lab’s amazing work in Malaysia check out her Twitter feed. It’s always jam-packed full of exciting educational activities. You won’t be disappointed!