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Applying “Design Thinking” in the context of media management education


“Design Thinking” – a cross-disciplinary and user centered method – is an approach towards the discovery of solutions and sparks innovative thinking in many ways. It also can be argued, that designers put themselves in the place of the user rather than co-creating with the consumer. Innovation is one of the current keywords across many industries, and many attempt to find new solutions to daily problems. Design Thinking as method allows to understand user needs and understand their principle problems in daily life. The design process uses intensive collaboration in cross-disciplinary settings and is divided into the exploration of the problem space and the solution space to achieve new ways of solving existing problems. Design Thinking has to integrate into the innovation process and into organizational structures right from the beginning. It constitutes a complement to classical analytical processes for problems that require lateral, not linear thinking. This article reviews the practical application of this energetic methodology in the academic context and presents some hands-on examples. The course series has been established by the Entertainment and Media Management Lab. (EMMi Lab.) at the Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and was held in cooperation with students from the University of Tampere (UTA), and the Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK). One course has been held in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, Germany. This article describes how to train students especially with strong technical background and analytical mind-sets in the development of innovations in the field of media, foster creative thinking, and achieve problem solutions beyond the current state of the art. We present the basic curriculum, course structure, goals & objectives, applied methods, settings, and theoretical aspects of Design Thinking. Our experience and reflections on conducting the courses concludes this article. The article shall be an introductory guide for anyone who intends to organize a similar course in the university context.

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Correspondence to Bjoern Stockleben.

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Lugmayr, A., Stockleben, B., Zou, Y. et al. Applying “Design Thinking” in the context of media management education. Multimed Tools Appl 71, 119–157 (2014).

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  • Design thinking
  • Media management
  • Innovation management