Coronavirus: Information regarding the summer term at the HPI D-School

In line with decisions made by the University of Potsdam and Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), the HPI School of Design Thinking (HPI D-School) has decided to start and run the summer semester 2020 in a new virtual mode.

[Translate to Englisch:] HPI D-School Sommersemester 2020

Usually, the learning experience at the HPI D-School is characterized by close physical interaction in small teams rather than by lectures and seminars. Therefore, the current situation is a particular challenge for us. For our Global Design Thinking Week in March 2020, we already moved to the virtual space and were able to gain valuable experiences in a new, virtual learning format.

For the summer semester 2020, we are developing an exciting program for our students. This includes a project portfolio with project partners who are ready to gain new experiences in virtual collaboration together with us.

To make this semester a success, we will adapt to the following new deadlines, technologies and procedures:

Dates Design Thinking Basic Track

  • The semester will not start on 20th April 2020, as planned, but with an offset of one week on 28th April 2020.
  • During the first week, we will host a digital on-boarding so that students can familiarize themselves with the digital working environments.
  • We will keep our two weekly appointments for the Basic Track program, Tuesdays and Fridays, where we will meet in the virtual working environments.

Dates Design Thinking Advanced Track

  • The semester will start as planned on 20th April 2020
  • We stick to two weekly appointments, Mondays and Thursdays, where we meet in the virtual work environments.

As of now, we assume that all these dates will take place without physical presence. We hope, however, that we will be able to meet physically at the HPI in Potsdam at least for the final presentations and celebrate the project results together.

For the collaboration and teamwork in virtual space we have agreed on using the following toolset:


For video communication we use the software ZOOM. We have licenses that allow us to hold large plenary rounds as well as to work together in so-called breakout rooms in smaller teams.

As a replacement for the physical information room, we will use the MIRO platform, which allows very simple and intuitive collaboration with sticky notes, photos, text and graphics in real time, just like on a whiteboard.

As a learning platform, we use HPI's own openHPI platform, which has been in use for years and is currently also used by the WHO for Corona training as a learning environment. We will send all students a link to the special learning environment for the Basic and Advanced Track programs.

We are looking forward to the start of the summer semester 2020 and are all eager to spend a semester with you in a world of experiences that is completely new for most of you.

Photo: HPI School of Design Thinking / Jana Legler