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Foundations of Design Thinking

Summer University Online: August 16th - 27th, 2021

3 ECTS credit points, max. 22 participants

Registration is now closed

Details on the summer 2022 program will be published soon!





The 2022 summer program will be published soon!

Design thinking is a powerful holistic process that focuses on people and their needs and experiences. The process is iterative and flexible, emphasizing the collaboration between innovators and users. The design thinking aims to shift the paradigm from the innovation centered on technology and economy towards the one on human needs and experiences.

In the course, the students will learn and develop the essential skills behind design thinking. The course will enable the students to empathize with people, identify their needs, and systematically ideate, prototype, and test ideas. Through a series of practical and accumulative exercises, the students will create a design-thinking project.

Learning Goals and Syllabus

Learning Goals:

Upon successful completion of the course, the students will gain solid understanding of design thinking. They will be able to apply the five-stage model of design thinking defined by d.school of Hasso-Plattner Institute:

(1) Empathize – understand people and their needs and the problem to solve to meet such needs

(2) Define – analyze observations and synthesize them into a human-centered problem statement

(3) Ideate – identify new solutions

(4) Prototype – investigate the hypothetical solutions through low-cost, scaled down prototypes

(5) Test – test the best solutions identified during prototyping


Course Structure:

Reading week: August 9th - August 13th, 2021. Flexible, 5 hours preparatory work to be done on-demand.

Online course: August 16th – August 27th, 2021. Estimated session times are Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm CET for live lectures and group sessions, etc.

Please note that exact session times will be confirmed once registrations have closed (sessions will be scheduled according to the time zones of the registered course participants).

Should you have any questions regarding the course timetable, please contact us at summeruniversity@tubs.de

Please note this is a full-time, intensive course. Weeks 1 and 2 will involve approximately 30 hours of workload.


A detailed syllabus with information on the schedule will be made available to registered participants.

You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home university whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.


Course Components:

  • Program Experience
  • Daily video lectures with experts
  • Daily live teaching sessions
  • 8 assignments
  • 1 capstone project

Target Audience

This course is designed for current university students, working professionals and any individuals interested in or studying in the fields humanities, liberal arts, architecture, design, and engineering.

Prerequisites and Technical Requirements

Participants of the TU Berlin Summer & Winter University must meet the following requirements: (i) B2 level English, or equivalent and (ii) at least one year of university experience. Working professionals are also welcome to take part in the program.

Technical Requirements

We will ask participants to fulfill the following technical requirements:

  • Fully functional device (laptop, tablet, PC)
  • Stable internet connection
  • Software: Zoom (App installed on desktop or over browser. Participants are requested to use their real name as zoom account name)
  • Recommended: external headset for better sound quality


Stefanie Holzheu, Dipl.-Ing., M.Arch. is a media architect, creative technologist, and consultant at Futurium, Berlin (https://futurium.de), where she manages the unique Prototype Showcase of the Futurium Lab and the Open Lab Night, an informal learning program. She explores the boundaries between architecture and material environment with a particular focus on functional aspects of "intelligent" spaces, new concepts of interactivity in space and the development of innovative information systems. She develops and offers bespoke workshops and courses for various companies, organizations, and groups, such as start-coding, ReDI, diffferent and Cisco Systems. She also taught architectural design and media at the Technical University Berlin, Bergen School of Architecture, and Bauhaus University Weimar.

Dr. Sang Lee (tudelft.academia.edu/SangLee) is an architect with PhD in Architecture. He is a tenured University Docent at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, where he teaches architectural design, theory, and sustainable design. He has also taught architecture in Eindhoven University of Technology, Bergen School of Architecture, Bauhaus University Weimar, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as lecturing in numerous schools in the EU and the US. Dr. Lee has contributed numerous papers and chapters to international conferences, journals, and books. He conceived, edited, and published “Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture” (2011) on the aesthetic perspectives in sustainable design of architecture as well as “The Domestic and the Foreign in Architecture” (2007) on architecture, cultural identity, and globalization.

Summer University Online: August 16th - 27th, 2021

Course fees

Registration for this course has now closed.

Course fees for Foundations of Design Thinking are as follows:

Student: 720 Euro

Working professional/Non-student: 1120 Euro

The early bird discount is available for all participants until April 1st 2021.

Please note that students will be required to upload proof of their student status (student card/ enrollment information) during the registration process.

3 ECTS credit points

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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TU Berlin Summer & Winter University
+49 30 4472 0230

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