Design Thinking

... is a set of methods to acquire information, analyse knowledge, and test solutions in designing products, services, and processes with the overall goal to generate innovation. The concept as we know it today was developed at the heart of Silicon Valley is practiced and taught at Stanford's famous as well as at HPI's D-School in Potsdam. Design Thinking enables professionals to develop innovative and particularly user-friendly products and services in multidisciplinary teams. The philosophy behind is the conviction that it is possible to train engineers and scientists to become innovators by merging a user focus with multidisciplinary collaboration and iterative improvements. Design Thinking is used to achieve desirable, user-friendly, and economically viable design solutions, innovative products and services. 

Design Thinking Research

... aims to scientifically understand when, why, and how design thinking works and which factors ultimatively contribute to the success of innovations driven by the design thinking approach. There is a common research program between HPI and Stanford university that provides a fruitful frame and inspiring environment for performing design thinking research. 
The team of Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel is participating in the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program (HPDTRP) and is, in particular, interested to

  • deeper understand how the design thinking method can be adopted in the field of IT (information technology) and engineering. How does it inspire creative multidisciplinary teamwork across faculties; whether and how spatial, time, and cultural boundaries can be overcome; and how it can be meshed with traditional approaches in engineering
  • design, implement, and test new IT systems and tools that support teamwork of design thinking teams in creating innovations that are able to bridge distances in space and time.

Our Ongoing Design Thinking Research Projects

  • In the project "Design Thinking at scale" we investigate the potential of teaching and learning design thinking through digital learning formats and channels with a special focus on the MOOC platform openHPI. For more information please click here.
  • In the project "Pandemic Pathways: Learning for Innovation in Government, Education, and Organisations" we empirically explore the difficulties and solution strategies in three realms (educational, governmental, and organisational) with regard to design (thinking) and innovation behaviour. Results will help practitioners in these fields to spot and change environmental factors that aid or hinder digital communication and innovation behaviour. More information can be found here.

Former Design Thinking Research Projects

  • In the project "e.valuate", we analyzed the impact of creative processes, creative places and creative people (mono- vs. multi-disciplinary teams; trained vs. untrained in DT), on creativity, collaboration and design outcomes. You can find more information here.
  • In the project "From Prototype to Innovation" we investigated how Design Thinking demands and fosters interactions within corporations. For more information click here.
  • In the project "Tele-Board" we developed innovative Web-based collaboration tools to support distributed design thinking. For more information click here.
  • In the project "Tele-Board MED" we developed a tool to support patient-doctor-communication and medical documentation. More information is available here.

Our Design Thinking Research Team

  • Head (PI): Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel
  • Team
    • Dr. Julia von Thienen
    • Kim-Pascal Borchart
    • Corinna Jaschek
    • Lena Mayer
    • Holly McKee
    • Karen von Schmieden
    • Hanadi Traifeh
    • Reem Abou Refaie
    • Theresa Weinstein
  • Former Members: Oliver Böckmann, Nicolas D'Aleman Arango, Lutz Gericke, Raja Gumienny, Birgit Jobst, Anne Kerguenne, Eva Köppen, Tilmann Lindberg, Christine Noweski, Anja Perlich, Matthias Quasthoff, Shama Rahman, Ingo Rauth, Holger Rhinow, Joaquin Santuber, Jan Schmiedgen, Thomas Unterholzer, Mana Taheri, Ralf Wagner, Matthias Wenzel, Christian Willems

Our Publications in Innovation and Design Thinking Research

Here you can find our papers about innovation and design thinking research. All our publications are listet here.

Other Links

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... to our Publications
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... and to our Annual Reports.