For Researchers
For Researchers
For Researchers
For Researchers

Design Thinking Research

At the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), students and professionals learn how to apply the methods and mindset of Design Thinking to develop innovative solutions. In various research activities, we also investigate how we can further develop the Design Thinking approach, what impact the application of the innovation approach has in organizations, or how human-centered design can work in conjunction with new technologies, e.g., artificial intelligence.

Research Cooperations of the HPI D-School


European Digital Education Hub



In various research projects with external partners, such as the German Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF e.V.), the European Commission, the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS or Free University of Berlin, the HPI D-School applies Design Thinking methods for the collaborative development of innovations.

Projects include:

European Digital Education Hub

Platform digitalization and climate protection "digistainable NOW!"

AI Rescue: AI-supported data analysis and simulation of rescue services

Smart Co-Creation



HPI-MIT Research Program "Designing for Sustainability"


HPI MIT research program



With the new joint research program "Designing for Sustainability", HPI and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are cooperating to address global societal challenges. HPI and MIT aim to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN) in 2015.

Project proposals for research projects in the fields of design and/or technology and sustainability can still be submitted by email to sustainability-research(at) until 1st June 2023. The projects selected for funding should start on 1st September 2023. More information can be found in the Call for Proposals.

Under the HPI-MIT program, multidisciplinary research teams will develop ambitious, long-term explorations related to design innovation strategies to generate sustainable impact for society across various domains of practice. The program applies rigorous academic research methods to understand the scientific basis for how and why design innovation works and fails. We understand design here in its broadest sense: it includes design research and Design Thinking, design in computer science, and design in entrepreneurship. 

More information on the research program

Partner MIT Morningside Academy for Design


Chair of Design Thinking and Innovation Research


Design Thinking and innovation research



The team of the chair "Design Thinking and Innovation Research" around Prof. Dr. Falk Uebernickel researches how the adaptation and integration of Human-Centered Design (HCD) and Design Thinking in companies leads to sustainable business innovations. A particular focus is on software-driven product, process, and service innovations.

Relevant research topics include methods for quantifying HCD, the management of HCD in companies and organizations, and the connection of HCD with new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The chair conducts several research activities in close collaboration with private and public partners.

For further information, including information for prospective Ph.D. students, please visit the department page.


Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program


Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program



From 2008-2022, the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program scientifically examined, developed, and redesigned various theoretical and practical aspects of Design Thinking innovations. Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows, and professors from Potsdam and Stanford worked intensively together to explore topics such as team dynamics, innovation spaces, human-centered digital innovation, neurodesign, and hybrid collaboration. The program also linked research and teaching: Research teams collected findings, evaluated them, and incorporated them into the training of students and professionals after a thorough examination.

You can find further information and a complete overview of all research projects on the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program website.

Claudia Nicolai


Dr. Claudia Nicolai

HPI D-School
Academic Director

Phone: +49-(0)331-5509 506