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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Design Thinking: Design Thinking Books

Design thinking is a methodology for practical and creative problem solving which focuses on the cognitive process of designing (e.g. it focuses on both the product and the process).

Understanding Innovation (eBook Series)

This series of books blends end-user focus with multidisciplinary collaboration and iterative improvement to produce innovative products, systems, and services. It explains and utilizes the concept of design thinking to create a vibrant interactive environment that promotes learning through rapid conceptual prototyping.

 

Meinel, C. & Leifer, L. (Eds.) (2011) Design thinking: understand - improve - apply. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from: Springer

In 2008, the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program was initiated, a venture that encourages multidisciplinary teams to investigate various phenomena of innovation in its technical, business, and human aspects. The researchers are guided by two general questions: 1. What are people really thinking and doing when they are engaged in creative design innovation? How can new frameworks, tools, systems, and methods augment, capture, and reuse successful practices? 2. What is the impact on technology, business, and human performance when design thinking is practiced? How do the tools, systems, and methods really work to get the innovation you want when you want it? How do they fail? In this book, the researchers take a system's view that begins with a demand for deep, evidence-based understanding of design thinking phenomena. They continue with an exploration of tools which can help improve the adaptive expertise needed for design thinking. The final part of the book concerns design thinking in information technology and its relevance for business process modeling and agile software development, i.e. real world creation and deployment of products, services, and enterprise systems.

Plattner, H.M., Christoph, M. & Leifer, L.J. (Eds.) (2012). Design thinking research: Measuring performance in context. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from: Springer

This book summarizes the results of the third year in the Design Thinking Research Program, a joint venture of Stanford University in Palo Alto and the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam. Understanding the evolution of innovation, and how to measure the performance of the design thinking teams behind innovations, is the central motivation behind the research work presented in this book. Addressing these fundamental concerns, all of the contributions in this volume report on different approaches and research efforts aimed at obtaining deeper insights into and a better understanding of how design thinking transpires. In highly creative ways, different experiments were conceived and undertaken with this goal in mind, and the results achieved were analyzed and discussed to shed new light on the focus areas. We hope that our readers enjoy this discourse on design thinking and its diverse impacts. Besides looking forward to receiving your critical feedback, we also hope that when reading these reports you too will get caught up in the fun our research teams had in carrying out the work they are based on: understanding innovation and how design thinking fosters it, which was the motivation for all the research work that is reported on in this book.

Plattner, H.M., Christoph, M. & Leifer, L.J. (Eds.) (2012). Design thinking research: Studying co-creation in practice. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from: Springer

This book summarizes the results of the second year in the Design Thinking Research Program, a joint venture of Stanford University in Palo Alto and Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam. The authors have taken a closer look at the issue of co-creation from different points-of-view. The concept of co-creation can also be applied to the phase in which new ideas and related thought start to influence companies, the economy, our culture, and society. The perpetual pursuit for inventions, new creations and innovations is inherent in human nature. The concept behind co-creation may sound simple, however, it is both an essential element of Design Thinking and highly complex. It is about creating positive synergies for all parties involved.

Plattner, H., Meinel, C. & Leifer, L.J. (Eds.) (2014). Design thinking research: Building innovation eco-systems. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from: Springer

This book summarizes the results of Design Thinking Research carried out at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA, and Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

The authors offer readers a closer look at Design Thinking with its processes of innovations and methods. The contents of the articles range from how to design ideas, methods, and technologies via creativity experiments and wicked problem solutions, to creative collaboration in the real world and the connectivity of designers and engineers. But the topics go beyond this in their detailed exploration of design thinking and its use in IT systems engineering fields and even from a management perspective.

The authors show how these methods and strategies work in companies, introduce new technologies and their functions and demonstrate how Design Thinking can influence as diverse a topic area as marriage. Furthermore, we see how special design thinking use functions in solving wicked problems in complex fields.

Plattner, H.M., Christoph, M. & Leifer, L.J. (Eds.) (2014). Design thinking research : Building innovators. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from: Springer

Design thinking as a user-centric innovation method has become more and more widespread during the past years. An increasing number of people and institutions have experienced its innovative power. While at the same time the demand has grown for a deep, evidence-based understanding of the way design thinking functions. This challenge is addressed by the Design Thinking Research Program between Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA and Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany. Summarizing the outcomes of the 5th program year, this book imparts the scientific findings gained by the researchers through their investigations, experiments and studies.

The method of design thinking works when applied with diligence and insight. With this book and the underlying research projects, we aim to understand the innovation process of design thinking and the people behind it. The contributions ultimately center on the issue of building innovators. The focus of the investigation is on what people are doing and thinking when engaged in creative design innovation and how their innovation work can be supported.

Plattner, H.M., Christoph, M. & Leifer, L.J. (Eds.) (2016). Design thinking research: Making design thinking foundational. Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from: Springer

This book summarizes the results of Design Thinking Research carried out at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA and Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany. The authors offer readers a closer look at Design Thinking with its processes of innovations and methods. The contents of the articles range from how to design ideas, methods and technologies via creativity experiments and wicked problem solutions, to creative collaboration in the real world and the connectivity of designers and engineers. But the topics go beyond this in their detailed exploration of design thinking and its use in IT systems engineering fields and even from a management perspective. The authors show how these methods and strategies work in companies, introduce new technologies and their functions and demonstrate how Design Thinking can influence as diverse a topic area as marriage. Furthermore, we see how special design thinking use functions in solving wicked problems in complex fields. Thinking and creating innovations are basically and inherently human - so is Design Thinking. Due to this, Design Thinking is not only a factual matter or a result of special courses nor of being gifted or trained: it's a way of dealing with our environment and improving techniques, technologies and life.

More Design Thinking Books

This list was compiled by David Weightman who is a Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

 

  • Crawford, Matthew B. (2009). Shop class as soulcraft: An inquiry into the value of work. New York: Penguin Press. UIUC Catalog.
  • Cross, Nigel. (2011). Design thinking: Understanding how designers think and work. Oxford: Bloomsbury Academic. UIUC Catalog.
  • French, Michael. (1998). Conceptual design for engineers. London: Springer International Publishing. Springer. 
  • Gibson, William. (2003). Pattern recognition. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. UIUC Catalog.
  • Gladwell, Malcolm. (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. New York: Little, Brown and Co. UIUC Catalog.
  • Gladwell, Malcolm. (2002) The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Boston: Little, Brown. UIUC Catalog.
  • Heskett, John. (2005). Design: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. UIUC Catalog.
  • Lefteri, Chris. (2012). Making It: Manufacturing techniques for product design. London: Laurence King. Safari. UIUC Catalog. 
  • Kelley, Tom & Littman, Jonathan. (2001). The art of innovation: Lessons in creativity from IDEO, America's leading design firm. New York: Doubleday. UIUC Catalog.
  • McDonough, William & Braungart, Michael. (2002) Cradle to cradle: Remaking the way we make things. New York : North Point Press. UIUC Catalog.
  • Papanek, Victor J. (1973) Design for the real world: Human ecology and social change. New York: Bantam Books. UIUC Catalog.
  • Rowe, Peter. (1987). Design Thinking. Cambridge: MIT Press. UIUC Catalog
  • Turkle, Sherry. (2007) Evocative objects: Things we think with. Cambridge: MIT Press.UIUC Catalog