Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI



HPDTRP Community Workshop

Twice a year, the researchers of the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Programm meet to present the status of their projects and to give each other impulses for further work. For the first time in the 12-year history of the program, the exchange between the researchers from California and Potsdam now took place in a purely virtual format. Instead of the lively campus at Stanford, the group met in virtual space from 18 - 20.05.2020. 

(Drawing / visual recording ©: Mana Taheri)

Since 2008, the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Program has been a program of multidisciplinary teams with different backgrounds in the natural sciences, engineering, the humanities, and design that explore the phenomenon of innovation from various dimensions. The program is funded by the Hasso Plattner Foundation. The research teams explore the complex interaction between members of multidisciplinary teams who face the challenge of creating innovation for difficult problems. An important feature is the need for creative collaboration across spatial, temporal and cultural boundaries. In the context of disciplinary diversity, we investigate how design thinking interacts with traditional engineering and management approaches, in particular why the structure of successful design teams is fundamentally different from traditional team structures in companies.

The concept

In several parallel workshop sessions, sub-groups worked on the issues of the 16 currently funded projects, after which all the results were presented in the plenum. Of particular topicality was "Iterating Emergency Remote Teaching Experiences" by the Potsdam-based Design Thinking at Scale team, which has been researching for several years on the effective communication of Design Thinking in online formats. The testing of "Design Thinking in Social Virtual Reality" by the team around Stanford Professor Jeremy Bailenson also offered exciting insights into the opportunities of this technology. At the same time, it offered plenty of opportunities for Adjunct Professor Jonathan Edelman's HPI research team, which is working on identifying and evaluating gestures of design thinkers using machine learning. Guest speaker Prof. Bill Burnett, Co-Director of the Life Design Lab at Stanford University, gave a condensed impulse in the spirit of his much iterated and adapted "Design Your Life" framework.

Virtual Exchange 2020

In their introduction, Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel and Prof. Dr. Larry Leifer, co-directors of the programme, emphasised the importance of investing energy and creativity in new forms of community building in the current situation. In this sense, the participants also spent breaks between the sessions together in the video meeting, which also provided space for informal exchange, continuation of ideas initiated in the workshops and spontaneous musical performances. The community building in these times was therefore somewhat different from the meetings on campus. In addition to the exchange of experiences on current best practices and strategies in view of the current situation, there was also the opportunity to get to know new and more personal sides of the colleagues.

1. Participants HPDTRP Community Workshop 2020
2. Participants HPDTRP Community Workshop 2020