Reconceptualizing design thinking and equipping designers for the next wave of digital innovation

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    With the advent of a third wave of digitization designers are facing new challenges to create products and services. We believe that the far-reaching user involvement and the flexible functionalities of third-wave digital innovation is radically changing the work field of designers.

    The paper focuses on two main effects of third-wave digital innovation; convergence and generativity. We analyzed the consequence of these two effects on three process-oriented roles of the designer that make up an important part of Design Thinking: (1) the designer as integrator; (2) the designer as boundary creator; and (3) the designer as the user s advocate.

    Based on this analysis, we propose three new roles that better fit the third wave of digital innovation: (1) designers as function orchestrators; (2) designers as gatekeepers of initiatives; and (3) designers as advocates of human desire. To fulfill these new roles and to equip designers for the new wave of digital innovation, we belief that there is a need for reconceptualizing Design Thinking.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15)
    Subtitle of host publicationDesign for Life
    EditorsC. Weber, S. Husung, G. Cascini, M. Cantamessa, D. Marjanovic, M. Bordegoni
    Place of PublicationGlasgow
    PublisherThe Design Society
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-64-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event20th international conference on engineering design (ICED15), Milan, Italy - Milan, Italy
    Duration: 27 Jul 201530 Jul 2015

    Publication series

    PublisherThe Design Society
    ISSN (Print)2220-4334


    Conference20th international conference on engineering design (ICED15), Milan, Italy


    • Design Thinking
    • Digital Innovation
    • Design Theory
    • Service Design


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