Manifesto: Design Thinking Becomes Foundational

Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


With the integration of design thinking into engineering education, a missing link has been created between the science-focused, context-independent part of engineering and the human society focused, context-dependent aspect. The latter area has long been neglected, partly due to the uncertainty that comes with the unpredictability of human behavior. However, years of design thinking research have improved our understanding of the method’s underlying principles. As a result, there has been a breakdown in the skepticism toward design. We can now instrument and quantify design behavior, measure its impact, validate engineering work, and continuously advance our knowledge of design thinking and ourselves. In this paper, we argue that design is ready to become a foundational science for engineering, alongside scientific fields such as physics, chemistry, and biology.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford Center for Design ResearchStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems EngineeringPotsdamGermany

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