Tech to Market. Finding and designing suitable technology applications with design thinking

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Cocchi, Nicolò; Dosi, Clio; Vignoli, Matteo
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Bologna
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3315-3324
DOI number:


Although it’s human centered focus, design thinking has proven to be effective also in technology-driven projects, both in education and business. Yet, scant research has investigated whether and how design thinking might be leveraged to find new opportunities based on emerging technologies and design new innovation concepts accordingly. To address this gap, we employed an Action Innovation Management Research framework and co-designed a program called Tech to Market with Oper.Space, the design factory for Open Innovation of the University of Bologna. We ran 5 iterations of the program from October 2018 to December 2022, in which we conducted 52 interviews, observed 10 presentations, and held 10 meetings with the main stakeholders involved. Our results show how to apply design thinking to find and design a suitable application for a given technology, contributing to the ongoing conversation about the implementation of design thinking in technology-driven projects.

Keywords: Design thinking, Design management, Design methods, Technology management, Innovation

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