Issue 1





H A S S O   P L A T T N E R   I N S T I T U T




Photos by Jelka von Langen






                    C  H  R  I  S  T  I  N  A


In design, interdisciplinary work processes are a natural part of idea generation. This means that design thinking is the logical name for the collaborative, systematic approach to idea development taught at the HPI Academy. We listen in on a discussion around the topic.




J o h a n n e s   M e y e r

Flavia Bleuel

C h r i s t i n a  S t a n s e l l


All three are Program Managers at HPI Academy working in the field of Education for Professionals.




How did you come to be involved in “design thinking”?



J o h a n n e s

A lot of people claim to have been doing design thinking before the concept had even emerged. And when I think back to my childhood and consider my penchant for design, it strikes me that I was a kid who would spend hours on a scooter, hanging around and looking into my neighbours’ gardens just watching them go about their business. Some might have thought I was a Peeping Tom, but looking back I’d be more inclined to say that was the first example of my interest in humans, observation and what people get up to. Later on, the introduced me to design. I studied there in my second year because I was on campus at the university in Potsdam anyway and found the subject interested me. That was six or seven years ago now, and I’ve been involved in design ever since.




Yes, it’s a really exciting subject. I want to get to the heart of the matter; to the roots of a design thinker. As you delved back in time, I will add that I also liked to observe people from an early age. I really enjoyed it. Walking along streets and looking through windows, seeing how people live their lives … even today, I still like to do this. Seeing people in everyday situations, even in stressful situations such as at airports—essentially, just observing their lives. You learn a great deal about behavioural patterns and the potential for innovation presented by these.



J o h a n n e s

That’s cool.




I came across design thinking during my time working at UdK Berlin (University of the Arts). I taught a course in Societal and Economic Communication. I was given the task of supervising communications projects over a period of six months, from user research and strategy, to concept and creation development. I looked for methods that enabled me to support students in creating user-oriented innovations. It was a process of trial and error.



J o h a n n e s

You recently started teaching at the School of Design Thinking, didn’t you?




Yes, that’s correct. Christina, how did you first get involved in Design Thinking?

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