Katja Thoring

Katja Thoring
Hochschule Anhalt · Department of Design (FB 4)

Prof. Dr.

About

53
Publications
205,964
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572
Citations
Introduction
Katja Thoring is Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of TU Delft and also holds a full professorship for Integrated Design at Anhalt University in Dessau, Germany. Katja’s research topics include creativity, design innovation, design methods and tools, design thinking, and design education. Her main quest is to understand how the work environment can influence creativity and to turn these insights into tools and techniques for improving the innovation process.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Delft University of Technology
Position
  • Visiting Researcher
October 2009 - present
Hochschule Anhalt
Position
  • Professor for 2D/3D Design Foundations
April 2005 - September 2009
Universität der Künste Berlin
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (53)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article analyzes two different strategies that both aim at creating innovative design or business concepts based on a user-centered approach: design thinking and lean startup. Both approaches involve customers, potential users, or other stakeholders into their development process. Although there are significant differences in both strategies,...
Article
This article presents a typology of creative spaces that is relevant to facilitating creative working and learning processes for designers. Drawing on qualitative user research with cultural probes in a design thinking institution, this typology identifies five different types of creative spaces along with five related spatial qualities. The paper...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a longitudinal case study of the development process of an idea lab-from initial planning to final implementation and usage. The research approach comprised various methods, including a user study with cultural probes and a visual canvas, a focus group co-creation workshop, and a follow-up evaluation, two years after the space...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper provides an overview of the state-of-the-art research about creative work and learning environments. We conducted a systematic literature search within the Scopus database and identified a total of 70 relevant sources discussing creative spaces within academic, practice, or other innovation environments. Among the included sources are 48...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Creative workspaces are becoming popular in many organizations. They are believed to support innovation efforts and creativity among employees. This paper presents spatial evidences of creative work environments from real-life organizations, based on an exploratory multi-case study in 18 institutions. The found workspaces were mapped and categorize...
Article
The theoretical understanding of design knowledge is a crucial concern for research in the design discipline. This article extends the rich existing research on design knowledge by providing a unifying model of design knowledge. The insights are derived from a rigorous review of existing literature. The resulting model presents an original framewor...
Research
Full-text available
Call for Contributions to the Track "Design Learning Environments" of LearnXDesign International Conference for Design Education Researchers. We invite Full Papers, Case Studies, Workshop Proposals, and VIsual Papers. https://learnxdesign.net/lxd2021/
Article
Full-text available
The term “creative space” describes a relatively recent phenomenon of innovative workplace design. Such creative workspaces are becoming popular in industry and academia. However, the impact of specific spatial design decisions on creativity and innovation is not yet fully understood. This paper provides an overview of state-of-the-art research on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper looks at the positive effects of partial status anonymity in face-to-face co-creation workshops. Results suggest that especially during the early phases of co-creation, i.e. idea generation, participants experience more freedom to express themselves without self-imposed barriers. We observed positive effects in terms of (1) lowering or e...
Conference Paper
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This paper compares two pioneering design educational approaches: the historic Bauhaus school founded in 1919 in Germany, and contemporary design thinking education, based on the example of the “HPI School of Design Thinking”. We compare both approaches according to six emerging categories: (1) curriculum, (2) multi-disciplinarity, (3) mind-set and...
Conference Paper
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This paper reports an embedded single case study from a globally operating manufacturer for digital healthcare products. Based on nine semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and a diary study among employees, we were able to gain insights on the daily business routines and interactions of the design team, the UX research team, and the produ...
Conference Paper
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Sketching and prototyping are parts of a ‘reflective conversation with materials of a design situation’ (Schön, 1992). To support this conversation, we developed a reflective tool – the Reflection Canvas – that facilitates reflection activities through sketching and prototyping on the one hand and verbalisation on the other. We introduced the refle...
Conference Paper
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Workshops are often used in the information systems (IS) and design fields to evaluate artifacts or to co-create business innovations. However, the evaluation of workshops is often conducted in a rather unsystematic and heterogenous way. This paper introduces a set of guidelines for designing or evaluating artifacts through workshops. These guideli...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The design of the workspace can be an indicator for an organization’s innovation culture. This paper introduces a canvas-based collaboration tool that facilitates both, team-based analysis of existing workspaces regarding the expressed culture, and co-creating spatial design ideas with the goal to instigate a cultural change. This two-way approach...
Thesis
Full-text available
Work and study environments that facilitate creative design processes—so called creative spaces—have gained an increased interest in the past years. The question if, and if yes how the physical environment could support designerly activities, has attracted the attention of design schools, startups, and global companies. This PhD project contributes...
Article
Full-text available
Creative workspaces are becoming popular in many organizations. They are believed to support innovation efforts and creativity among employees. This paper presents spatial evidences of creative work environments from real-life organizations, based on an exploratory multi-case study in 18 institutions. The found workspaces were mapped and categorize...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Designerly innovation tools, such as canvases, are widely used for facilitating team and collaboration processes. This paper outlines the potential design space of such innovation canvases. Based on a systematic analysis of 123 existing canvases we developed a morphological box that distinguishes between six different parameters identified as relev...
Conference Paper
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At the fuzzy front end of innovation emerging ideas are often fuzzy as well. This may lead to premature rejection of those early ideas and hence result in missed business opportunities. This paper introduces the Idea Arc—a canvas-based innovation tool that facilitates team-based discussions, elaboration and refinement of an idea, identification of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Work and study environments that facilitate creative design processes—so called creative spaces—have gained an increased interest in the past years. This paper contributes to this emerging field by providing a set of guidelines for creating such environments. We developed a set of 49 abstracted design principles (patterns) that are empirically deve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The physical environment in design education can have a significant impact on students' creativity, learning performance, and wellbeing. However, little attention is given to the question, how to design such spaces in a scientifically sound manner and how to involve the relevant stakeholders. Specifically, the future users of the space—students and...
Conference Paper
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Building on the assumption that the physical environment can have an influence on the creativity of designers and design students in particular, the aim of this paper is to provide theoretical propositions and evidences for this relationship. We develop various propositions about the influence of physical environments on creativity, based on eight...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Building on the assumption that the physical environment can have an influence on the creativity of designers and design students in particular, the aim of this paper is to provide theoretical propositions and evidences for this relationship. We develop various propositions about the influence of physical environments on creativity, based on eight...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotion measurement is a vital aspect for new product development and product improvements (see e.g. P. Desmet & Schifferstein, 2012). Nowadays, new technological devices, data mining, and social media offer many opportunities to invigorate design research. This paper tries to combine both aspects by exploring the question, how new technologies can...
Conference Paper
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Design education involves various teaching, learning, and designing activities, such as idea generation, writing, sketching, computer-work, planning, lecturing and listening to presentations, team work, discussions, model making, and prototyping. All these activities require particular environments. The question how these activities could be facili...
Conference Paper
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This survey paper explores the opportunities and challenges of new technologies and social media for design research and design ethnography in particular, and summarizes the results in a framework. Understanding users’ needs and observing their behavioral patterns becomes more and more important when designing innovative products or services. Tradi...
Conference Paper
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This paper is part of a research project that investigates the role of the physical space, such as architecture, room layout, and furniture, on creative work processes in design educational contexts. The particular focus of this paper is to identify differences in the spatial requirements of designers in academia (students and educators) and design...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents a novel ethnographic research approach based on a wearable camera that automatically takes pictures according to sensor changes within the wearer’s environment. The opportunities and challenges that are raised by such technologies are investigated and discussed. We describe an exemplary application of the approach and point out...
Conference Paper
Fundamentals of 2d/3d design have been taught since before (product) design curricula were developed in the early 20th century. Since then, design fundamentals education seems to have undergone major changes as design education in general. On the one hand, the theoretical and pedagogical basis of design fundamentals is based on traditional concepts...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Design thinking is a specific method to develop innovative solutions to wicked problems in multidisciplinary teams. The fact that people with different disciplinary and often also cultural backgrounds work together, makes it quite a challenge to compensate for deficits in common understanding of terminologies or mind-sets. Furthermore, team members...
Conference Paper
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The main goal of design education is to transfer design knowledge to students, and to foster the creation of new knowledge through design project work. The main facilitators of such knowledge transfer and creation are obviously the teachers, along with the supply of relevant literature. However, the role of the physical environment as a knowledge f...
Article
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Die gestalterische Grundlagenausbildung ist mindestens so alt wie die formale Designausbildung – und hat seitdem von außen betrachtet eine ähnlich starke Veränderung erfahren. Das theoretische und didaktische Fundament der gestalterischen Grundlagenausbildung basiert dabei einerseits auf traditionellen Konzepten wie Ästhetik, Gestaltpsychologie ode...
Conference Paper
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Cultural Probes are facing an increasing popularity as a research method in design science and design research. However, the making of a cultural probes set requires a lot of time and resources for both, researcher and participant. A careful design of such cultural probes sets is crucial, to avoid waste of time and effort. But how do you design a g...
Conference Paper
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Based on a research approach with cultural probes, we analysed the work environments of a German design school. We identified five different types of spaces on the university’s campus and within the classrooms—the “solitary space”, the “team space”, the “tinker space”, the “presentation space”, as well as “transition spaces”. Each of these space ty...
Conference Paper
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This article presents a case study of an experimental product design project in the context of design education. Short stories by Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick were used as the source of inspiration for designing imaginary products within that narrative. Since the project was free of typical constraints, such as feasibility, cost-efficiency...
Conference Paper
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This article analyses the role of the space for facilitating creativity, especially in the context of creative education. Based on a qualitative user research with cultural probes, five different types of creative spaces were identified: 1) the “Solitary Space”, which allows thinking and meditation, and which is characterized by a silent atmosphere...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents suggestions how to frame design educational exercises with the aim to transfer specific types of design knowledge to students, or to generate new design knowledge within students, respectively. For this purpose, the paper refers to a typology of design knowledge that differentiates between four types of design knowledge—Artefact...
Conference Paper
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Role-playing is a means of concept representation that is often used in design thinking or service design, but relatively unknown in general management or business innovation. Originated in theatre, this technique can be used to prototype complex socio-technical systems, in order to evoke certain experiences in users, designers, or developers, as w...
Conference Paper
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This article analyzes the design thinking process in terms of its capability to create design knowledge. For this purpose, we refer to a typology that suggests four different types of design knowledge as well as three interjacent transitions. According to this typology, design knowledge can be represented in physical artifacts, as tacit gut feeling...
Conference Paper
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In this article, we analyse the concept of design thinking with its process, the team structure, the work environment, the specific culture, and certain brainstorming rules and techniques. The goal of this work is to understand how the creative mechanisms of design thinking work and how they might be improved. For this purpose, we refer to the idea...
Conference Paper
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This article presents a formal model of the design thinking process based on Method Engineering. The foundation of our work is based on observations within an educational context—the 'School of Design Thinking' of the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam, Germany ("HPI D-School"). We analyzed the design thinking process, as it is practiced there, an...
Conference Paper
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This article analyzes the role of artifacts in Information Systems regarding their capability to store and transfer design knowledge and to support the researcher-practitioner collaboration. A definition for design artifacts and their characteristics is presented that distinguishes between prototypes and products. Based on three examples for artifa...
Data
This article analyzes the role of artifacts in Information Systems regarding their capability to store and transfer design knowledge and to support the researcher-practitioner collaboration. A definition for design artifacts and their characteristics is presented that distinguishes between prototypes and products. Based on three examples for artifa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a novel research tool to analyze the semantics of three-dimensional forms. We developed an online game that uses crowdsourcing techniques to gather data about the perceptions of form from different people all over the world. The aspired result of the tool is a collection of statistical data about the semantics of form. The data...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents a tool to collect empirical data about the collaborative meaning of form. We developed an online crowdscouring game, in which two users rate randomly assigned three-dimensional shapes. The more similar the ratings are, the more points both players get. This crowdsourcing method allows identifying what certain shapes mean to peop...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is a theoretical approach to structure design-specific knowledge into a framework, which can be used within the context of organizational and societal development. We conducted an extensive literature review about existing definitions of design knowledge, and knowledge in general. Based on this, we developed a typology, which consists of...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Together with Nicole Lotz and Linda Keane, I am organizing a Track on "Design Learning Environments" at the upcoming LearnXDesign Conference 2021 for Design Education Researchers. We are looking for contributions about design educational workspaces (physical, virtual, or hybrid). We invite Full Research Papers, Workshop Proposals, Case Studies, and Visual Papers. Deadline for Submissions is March 23rd. https://learnxdesign.net/
Project
This project investigates the potential of new technologies to facilitate design research. Possible technologies include tools like mobile EEG, smart glasses, or indoor positioning systems, as well as software applications, such as experience sampling, facial expression recognition or social media analytics. How can such tools and devices help the researcher to measure people's emotions, ideas, or behavior? We collect case examples and develop new ideas for research tools that are tested in several workshops.
Project
This research project aims at providing a systemic overview and analysis of the impact of the built environment on creative work processes in design education and practice. Based on a qualitative research approach with cultural probes in two design institutions, and 8 expert interviews, we develop a theory of creative spaces, as well as a toolkit for design educators and spatial planners who want to improve or (re)design their work and study environments.