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About

Oliver Szasz is professor for digital media and communication design and is responsible in his position as Vice Head Graduate School Macromedia University for the Design Management master program in Munich. He has an academic background in Sociology, Philosophy and Political Science, a diploma in Communication Design from Augsburg University, Germany and a Master of Arts M.A. in Design Studies from University of the Arts (CSM), London UK. Oliver Szasz focuses his design research on human-centered design, design thinking, social innovation, service design and design-led approaches to management.

Prior to his professorship at Macromedia University, Oliver Szasz was managing director of his own independent design consultancy in London for over ten years. He has extensive international experience as a strategic design consultant for global private and public organizations.

Besides his teaching, Oliver Szasz participates in the academic debate about design thinking with critical writing and research. He also gives design-led innovation workshops and advices international organizations on topics such as strategic design and design thinking in management.

 

The idea for the Design Thinking & Beyond blog was conceived many years ago when I registered the domain. But I never found the time to actually start the blog until very recently. I was asked to create a MOOC about design thinking and I immediately began thinking of ways to help foster the debate around the topic and to build a community: these thoughts initiated the final impulse for launching the Design Thinking & Beyond Blog.

Why a blog about design thinking? Many consider design thinking as a fashionable and temporary phenomenon, which will pass anytime soon, and using it purely as a methodology might have weaknesses. However, in times of fundamental change new thinking is required. Innovation in technology has begun to fundamentally change our society and affluent consumption has an ever-increasing impact on our resources and environment. Furthermore, the rise of the Internet has significantly transformed our means of communication, initiating an unprecedented increase in complexity. Some argue that we are even facing a ‘complexity crisis’. One could conclude that we are experiencing a transition to a new paradigm.

For decades, designers have been seeking to design products to meet the seemingly never-ending rise of consumption. Since then, we appear to have evolved from an industrial economy to a service, knowledge and experience driven economy. This development will in turn affect the design practice and role of the designer. New models of thinking, which discuss new patterns of behavior and social values, are beginning to appear. Design thinking seems to provide some answers – it focuses on a human-centered approach, which combines design activities with research on human needs, and technological and business aspects, in order to create knowledge and solutions for highly complex problems. Design thinking promises help when trying to find true innovation, which is relevant to people’s lives and has meaning.

With this blog I intend to provide information about current discussions around design thinking and related scientific fields. Moreover, I would like to facilitate a lively exchange platform, which delivers knowledge and inspiration beyond…

I am looking forward to your participation and comments.

Oliver Szasz