Design Thinking

Develop innovative solutions for complex problems

HPI School of Design Thinking

The HPI School of Design Thinking (HPI D-School) is a center for design thinking education unrivaled in Europe. Founded in 2007 in Potsdam, the HPI D-School is a leading academic institution that trains students and graduates in multidisciplinary, collaborative teamwork to develop innovative solutions for complex problems. This is enabled by the school’s unique learning environment with state-of-the-art hybrid collaboration spaces and equipment.  

In collaboration with partner organizations from industry, society, and politics, student teams create human-centered products, services, and business models. A team of experienced coaches from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds accompany the students in their team projects. In addition to offering academic programs, the HPI D-School conducts research in the fields of design thinking, innovation, and leadership. 

 As the initiator of the Global Design Thinking Alliance (GDTA), the HPI D-School promotes the exchange between schools around the world, including its sister institution at the University of Cape Town (South Africa). 



HPI d-school


d-school afrika

Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika 

Today, there is only one place in Africa dedicated exclusively to teaching design thinking. It is located in the southernmost city on the continent, Cape Town.   

The Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town (UCT), more commonly known as d-school Afrika, was founded in 2015. Students from UCT and other tertiary institutions in South Africa and beyond can choose from a variety of academic programs at the d-school. For professionals, it offers executive education courses that range from 4-hour Design Thinking Dashes to fully customized programming.  

All of this is housed in the unique 6-Star Green-rated building, inaugurated in October 2022 and perfectly situated at UCT’s middle campus.    

Through its work, the d-school reaches out to various networks in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Morocco. It has also partnered with Mauritian-based universities to offer design thinking to their MBA students. 

Outside of the d-school AFRIKA building in Cape Town

© Photo: Hasso Plattner d-school AFRIKA / Paris Brummer

dconfestival in Cape Town, October 2022

© Photo: Hasso Plattner d-school AFRIKA / dconfestival 2022

Design Thinking School of the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Designed in 2020, the D-School building in Sibiu is the first university center in Romania to teach and research design thinking. 

Renowned today for its design thinking activities, the Design Thinking School of the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (ULBS) started with workshops with professors from Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Biomedical studies. As of November 2022, the school offers a 10-week course for students as well as for university professors and staff. High school and university students can participate in a 5-day Summer School Program where they work on a challenge by exploring design thinking tools. On demand, the school also organizes workshops with companies.  

The D-School in Sibiu enables its community to experiment with design thinking. As such, the school thrives on fostering creativity and collaboration across disciplines at ULBS.


ULBS D-School

design thinking students

© Photo: D-School in Sibiu

design thinking classroom

© Photo: D-School in Sibiu